Outdoor games can boost academics and reduce childhood obesity

According to a new study, children who focus more on physical activities, especially outdoor games, will have better academic results and reduced levels of obesity from an early age.

The results showed that children’s physical activity levels continue to be well below recommended levels, which can negatively affect their health as well as their academic success.

They spend far more time in front of screens than the maximum recommendation of just two hours a day, which needs to be reduced, according to the study.

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“The time children spend in front of screens has had an impact on their well-being for many years. The popularity of computer games and the emergence of the internet, smartphones and social media have further contributed to this problem,” said lead author John Reilly, a professor at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Strategies to promote physical activity and reduce screen time should place more emphasis on active outdoor play, which children could potentially do 365 days a year, the researchers suggested.

“Play benefits children by helping them develop socially and emotionally, so promoting active outdoor play would have many benefits in addition to improving physical activity, improving academic achievement, and reducing obesity,” Reilly noted.