The idealistic image of the child tumbling about with other children in the garden, park or any outdoor spot is something that we parents should encourage for many reasons. Recent research shows that outdoor play may halve chances of a child needing eye glasses.
How outdoor play is good for the eyes
Recent research conducted at the Bristol University says that it is being indoors rather than any particular activity such as reading books that could be responsible for poor eyesight. Children who spend more time playing out of doors are less likely to be shortsighted than kids who spend most of their time indoors.
Children who spent three or more hours out of doors in summer and at least an hour out of doors in winter are classified as speeding more time out of doors. It is thought that exposure to direct bright light is important for the development of good vision. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in the retina is seen to be stimulated by brighter light conditions.
Other reasons to let kids play out of doors
The above research gives us yet another reason to encourage kids to play out of doors. We have long known the importance of kids getting plenty of fresh air in order to help fight infections.
Then there is the fact that outdoor play lets kids get physical exercise and helps them expend pent up energy. Not only is this good for health, it helps kids eat better and also makes them sleep better.
The more time kids spend out of doors, the less time they are spending before the TV, playing video games and other sedentary pastimes.
Kids learn a lot by being outdoors. Not only that they tend to perform better at academics when they spend more time out of doors – they can concentrate better, according to some studies.
Outdoor play also helps to encourage a child’s creativity. This is because unstructured outdoor play in natural gives children more opportunity to create their own games and think up new ones.
Being outdoors also helps lower stress – and yes children can get stressed too! This helps kids develop a better immunity to disease so that they remain healthier and fall sick less often.
Studies have also shown that kids, who have specific disorders such as ADHD, can benefit from spending more time outdoors – it helps reduce symptoms when kids are permitted to play in natural areas.