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Families urged to spend more time outdoors together


By Yujin Luo

Seven out of 10 Aussie kids spend less than an hour a day outdoors, according to new research conducted by Dr Justin Doulson and commissioned by Golden Circle.

The results show that 62% of parents believe their children should spend more time outdoors; over 85% of parents believe that spending time outdoors improves their kids’ mental and physical health.

Despite the survey demonstrate that parents are aware of the benefits of outdoor activities, their children still prefer spending time indoors. There are two reasons for that, the lack of interest and availability. With the rapid development of technology, outdoor activities are not attractive as it used to be and parents also get busy with life.

However, “playing outside is vital for children’s mental and physical development. Science tells us that nature is literally fuel for the soul. When outside, our children are more likely to be active, explore the world, learn, and be social,” leading parenting and family expert Dr Justin Doulson said.

Among 500 surveyed families around the country, parents said that they used to spend 7 hours watching TV when they were kids, compared to their children who spend 14 hours a week on average.

Recently, a social experiment was conducted by Golden Circle. The families participated in the initiative ‘Playtime Promise’ where they spent an hour outdoor every day during the summer.

The Knight Family, a family of two children (11 years and 14 years), were involved in the Playlight Promise social experiment. Talking about the early benefits being seen, parent Melissa Knight said: “taking the Playlight Promise reignited our need for more outdoor play and family time, bringing this forefront-of-mind every day for my family. My daughter, Jessica, now has friends over to play in the pool regularly or takes her sketchbook outside to draw and relax. She is enjoying spending more time outdoors and we’ve seen such a difference that we’re having family dinner an hour later so she can spend more daylight hours outside”.

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