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Risky outdoor play positively impacts children’s health

Risky outdoor play positively impacts children’s health
November 15, 2015

New research from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Child & Family Research Institute at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital shows that risky outdoor play is not only good for children’s health but also encourages creativity, social skills and resilience.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that children who participated in physical activity such as climbing and jumping, rough and tumble play and exploring alone, displayed greater physical and social health.

Mariana Brussoni, lead author of the study, and assistant professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health and Department of Pediatrics explained “we found that play environments where children could take risks promoted increased play time, social interactions, creativity and resilience.

“These positive results reflect the importance of supporting children’s risky outdoor play opportunities as a means of promoting children’s health and active lifestyles.”

Playgrounds that offer natural elements such as trees and plants, changes in height, and freedom for children to engage in activities of their own choosing, have positive impacts on health, behaviour and social development.

Brussoni, also a scientist in the British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital, added “these spaces give children a chance to learn about risk and learn about their own limits.”

Safety concerns, such as injury, were seen as the main reason for limiting risky outdoor play. Researchers found that playground safety standards and too much supervision prevented children from engaging in risky activities.

Brussoni concluded “monitoring children’s activities may be a more appropriate approach than active supervision, particularly for older children.

“We recommend considering policy, practice and built environment approaches to risky outdoor play that balance safety with children’s other health outcomes.”

Click here to go to the website of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Image: Children who engage in risky outdoor play see greater physical and social health benefits. Courtesy: Flickr

9th April 2015 - NEW MOVEMENT AIMS TO GET CHILDREN PLAYING OUTSIDE

21st October 2014 - KIDSAFE URGES PARENTS TO LET CHILDREN TAKE RISKS

30th May 2014 - KINGS PARK EXPERT ADVISES THAT RISK IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN

20th January 2014 - RESEARCH REVIEW SUGGESTS BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE RISKS OF INJURY IN JUNIOR SPORT

4th June 2013 - GROWTH IN EXTREME ACTIVITIES AS YOUNGER PEOPLE MOVE AWAY FROM ‘STRUCTURED’ SPORT

12th April 2012 - NEW PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT STANDARD PUBLISHED

13th March 2012 - KIWI CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF CRUCIAL PLAY TIME 

13th October 2010 - NEW HANDBOOKS EXPLAIN MANAGING RISK IN SPORT AND RECREATION


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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