PLAY IN DRAMATIC DECLINE AS CHILDREN ENJOY AS LITTLE TIME OUTSIDE AS PRISON INMATES

22 March 2016

  • Sir Ken Robinson reports that our children’s future success hangs in the balance
  • One in ten children have no time playing outside on an average day
  • Half of all parents want their child to have a better balance of indoor/ outdoor play

A global study released today reports that children’s playtime is in dramatic decline, with the majority of children now spending as little time outdoors as a prison inmate1. On average, children spend an hour or less outside per day, with one in ten never playing outdoors.

The report ‘Play in Balance’ by OMO/Persil, as part of the Dirt is Good campaign, polled 12,000 parents worldwide, and found that two-thirds (64 per cent) believe that their children do not have the same opportunities to play as they did as a child.

Sir Ken Robinson, leading expert in education, creativity and human development, and Chair of the Dirt is Good Child Development Advisory Board, comments:
“Academic research shows that active play is the natural and primary way that children learn. It is essential to their healthy growth and progress, particularly during periods of rapid brain development. Yet, too often play is disregarded as frivolous and pointless. Consequently, there’s a growing, and alarming, tendency to reduce time for active play in children’s lives - both at school and home.”

Due to pressures of modern life, half of all parents report they have little to no time available to supervise outdoor play or to play with their child. Four in ten parents also report that they lack appropriate places for their children to play safely within their community.

While experts agree that there are multiple and wide-ranging benefits associated with children’s use of technology, ‘screen time’ is perceived to be a key barrier to getting kids outdoors. Nearly eight out of ten parents (78 per cent) admit that their children often refuse to play without some form of technology being involved. A similar number (80 per cent) report that their child prefers to play virtual sports on a screen inside rather than playing ‘real’ sports outside.

For the rest of the press release and contact details please download the full document below.

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