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Three-quarters of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates – survey

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posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 07:32 AM
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www.theguardian.com...

Just wanted to start a discussion in relation to this article from The Guardian, whilst the research is based in the UK it will be relevant elsewhere. From the article:



Three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates, according to a new survey revealing the extent to which time playing in parks, wood and fields has shrunk. A fifth of the children did not play outside at all on an average day, the poll found.

Experts warn that active play is essential to the health and development of children, but that parents’ fears, lack of green spaces and the lure of digital technology is leading youngsters to lead enclosed lives.

Most of the parents polled said their children have fewer opportunities to play outside than they did when young. The new research is strongly supported by previous work, including a government report in February that found more than one in nine children had not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment for at least a year.


As a parent of two children under 12 I just find this totally unacceptable. There is no excuse for allowing your children to rot with their faces staring at a screen of some kind. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology but for god's sake, everything in balance. I also don't believe that even in inner cities you cannot get to a park or green space relatively easily. It's idleness and poor parenting in my opinion.

I genuinely fear for the future our children will grow up in with everything immediately available, without leaving the house. A world of overweight, undereducated shepple with limited social skills and engagement - worrying in the extreme.
edit on 28/3/2016 by 0010110011101 because: Spelling




posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:01 AM
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a reply to: 0010110011101

It's not children either in this day and age!

I spend most of my time inside but believe me I'd rather be outside and close to the coast then stuck in the City!



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:13 AM
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Important to get some sun everyday, for at least 20 minutes or so, for the vitamin D. Older people and those in nursing homes or hospital have the same situation (although minus the video games).



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: 0010110011101

Do you think if we had better weather in the UK things would be different ?

I know when I was a kid I spent a lot of time outdoors playing in the woods, out on the street and parks BUT never did I go out when the weather was crappy and we've had a lot of crappy weather in recent years.

Hoppefully with climate change we shall see a shift in our climate to something nicer so kids can enjoy more days out in the sun
edit on 28/3/16 by Discotech because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:33 AM
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I think the weather plays a part in winter months but it's also an easy excuse. A bit of rain isn't going to do anyone any harm is it.

It's too easy to find reasons to pacify children with tablets/video games than it is to engage them in outdoor games/activity.

The other favourite is how dangerous the world is now. I'll grant you the amount of traffic is higher but other than that there's always been dangerous people, it was just less reported in the past.

a reply to: Discotech



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: 0010110011101

I agree that I don't think it's gotten any more dangerous than what it used to be. A problem in part might be there's less fun places to go though.

There seems to be less parks and playgrounds than there used to be and alot of the fun and adventurous places like woods etc are no longer around and have been turned in rest homes, residential areas, supermarkets or business parks at least where I grew up anyway and that was a more rural than urban place.

So I think the lack of places to play, plays a part too
edit on 28/3/16 by Discotech because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:54 AM
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originally posted by: TruthxIsxInxThexMist
a reply to: 0010110011101

It's not children either in this day and age!

I spend most of my time inside but believe me I'd rather be outside and close to the coast then stuck in the City!


That's the thing for me.

I live in a moderately large City and the emphasis seems to be on getting people into the Centre to spend money.

I am giving it 5 more years here and intend to move down to the coast, probably Devon, maybe Cornwall. Then I intend to spend most of my days outside taking in the wonderful coastline.

As for kids staying indoors, this trend has been on the increase over the last 20 years. Driven by the Stranger Danger agenda, parents are wrapping their precious children in cotton wool, where they are unable to encounter risk and unable to make decisions for themselves. Of course gaming has had a big impact on them deciding what they would prefer to do with their time, but growing up in the 70's and 80's we actually went out to explore and from time to time get into mischief. Nothing serious, of course, because we would know what would happen if we did, but playing football or cricket, climbing trees, building dens etc was the staple of my youth.

I guess it's a sign of the times, but I certainly do not envy the kids of today.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 08:59 AM
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I don't blame them. It's pretty boring outside nowadays compared to before.

With so much entertainment media on the Internet, immersive or fun video games, etc. Then with school being a dumb pain in the ass, the last thing people wanna do is go outside. They do go out a lot more on none-school days by the way! Atleast all this is my experience in the US.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Kuroodo

What?

I just took the twin 2 year old's for a walk in my neighbors Christmas tree farm Saturday. OH, the bugs we found to look at! While it is still early spring here in MI, there are plenty of things to show children, that are better live. Including listening to the frogs in the swamp, which right now are louder than a car horn, when they all get going.

Even in a city. You can't find a tree? You don't think there may be a bug on that tree? Maybe a birds nest? This is 99% bad parenting, not getting kids outside.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:20 AM
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originally posted by: 0010110011101

As a parent of two children under 12 I just find this totally unacceptable. There is no excuse for allowing your children to rot with their faces staring at a screen of some kind. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology but for god's sake, everything in balance. I also don't believe that even in inner cities you cannot get to a park or green space relatively easily. It's idleness and poor parenting in my opinion.



I know that this is based in the UK but in the US, if your child is playing unattended by an adult you can lose your child. It is considered neglect, i.e. "poor parenting", and can be grounds for removal of the child from the home. So, what are these parents supposed to do? Hang out with their kids in sight, pacing them during their play and on their adventures for hours every day? I don't think that is a realistic expectation for most households as it usually takes two working parents to survive. Even if you have one parent staying at home... That is kind of a ridiculous. Also, that isn't really conducive to the sort of active play that really helps kids developmentally--physically and socially.

I ran wild with a pack of kids from about the age of 5, but we lived in a very small, rural community. I was very fortunate in that. I still live near a small town near the area that I grew up. While I can let my daughter play outside unattended here at the house, and she has since she was about 8 or 9, there have been instances "in town" where I was chastised by other parents for letting her play at the city park while we were in the business across the street (she was still in sight through the window). Every time. Some well-meaning person would spot her, quiz her, she would point us out and they would march up indignant that we were letting her play that way. In other words, I was being a poor parent in their opinion. Everyone has one I guess. The third time that happened, I didn't let her play at that park when we went to that business anymore. This is in a rural community where people tend to mind their own business comparatively. I can't imagine what happens in urban environments.

From what I've seen of the child protection laws in the UK, and the fast and loose way that they can jerk children from their homes in both countries, this may be an additional pressure that parents face. You don't want to compromise your children's health, but you don't want to lose them either. Poor people are more vulnerable to this as well in the US. I'm not poor, but we don't dress, look or act (for the most part) our socio-economic demographic, and I can tell you that the people who got in my business backed the hell off once they saw what vehicle we were getting into and/or figured out who we were. It was sad and that made me angry too.

Honestly, with what you have written, you strike that nosy, judgy, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou-I'm-a-Better-Parent, self-righteous, busy-body chord for me HARD. Like come down with both fists hard. Mind ya' own. You'll be happier, and you're not perfect. I kind of feel sorry for YOUR kids, but I'm not going to tell you how to parent. You do you.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:34 AM
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originally posted by: TruthxIsxInxThexMist
a reply to: 0010110011101

It's not children either in this day and age!

I spend most of my time inside but believe me I'd rather be outside and close to the coast then stuck in the City!

True. There are many adults whose day consists of: waking up, commuting to work (in a car, bus, or train), spend working hours in an office or manufacturing plant, commuting home, having dinner, watching television, then going to sleep.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:36 AM
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A bit harsh, but I can take it! Im not saying I'm a better parent at all, more that children need a balance of stimulus in their lives and a significant part of that should be experiencing the outside world in all its glory. I don't believe I mentioned leaving anyone unattended? Taking your kids to a park for an hour or two as often as you can to play or just walk and explore is not too much to ask?

This wasn't a personal attack on you or a view on your business, more a request for a discussion. I'm sorry if I offended you.


originally posted by: redhorse

Honestly, with what you have written, you strike that nosy, judgy, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou-I'm-a-Better-Parent, self-righteous, busy-body chord for me HARD. Like come down with both fists hard. Mind ya' own. You'll be happier, and you're not perfect. I kind of feel sorry for YOUR kids, but I'm not going to tell you how to parent. You do you.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:46 AM
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With the rise or awareness in paedophilia, and the amount of drunks, druggies and pedophiles that hang around in parks and the streets im not surprised kids go out less and parents dont want them becoming another statistic.

I mean just in coventry alone where i live the trypes i described above hang around most of the parks, and its been in the papers so parents are well aware of the situation. Plus their has been kidnapping off the streets even in broad daylight!! Just the dangers alone is enough to stop parents letting their children out.

The weather is mostly unpredictable here in the uk also, and most kids go round their friends houses to play with them, where its warm and safe. I wish kids could go out and play all the time like when i was a child but it seems a more dangerous world now a days. I have no children of my own but i take my neice and nephew out with my sister to country walks, parks or fun play areas at the weekends.

Parents fear their children going out, so that's half the problem which is a valid point. The other half is kids are more tech savvy these days, they enjoy playing consoles, tablets and mobile games.

The other problem is when i was a kid me and my mates were street smart, and new the dangers to avoid. Kids these days dont have a clue about the dangers, they think they know it all but in truth they would walk right into danger. Its the sad truth im afraid.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 10:01 AM
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originally posted by: 0010110011101 I don't believe I mentioned leaving anyone unattended?


Having a parent in constant attendance does not facilitate all of the benefits from this sort of play, as I said, but society requires it. They may get the exercise, which is good, but they are missing much of the psycho-social developmental aspects.


originally posted by: 0010110011101 Taking your kids to a park for an hour or two as often as you can to play or just walk and explore is not too much to ask?


Well there it is, that's the crux of it. I do disagree. For most parents, it is out of reach and not reasonable. Here's the problem. So what is enough? Once a week? Maybe doable. Twice? Everyday? These criteria are highly subjective.

Even once a week, when you add in two working parents who may be working more than one job, swing shifts etc... trying to cobble together a livable income, on top of all of the other, often contradictory, pressures about being a "good parent" it's hard to have the physical and emotional resources left to do that.

If society were willing to let kids be kids these days, maybe it would be different. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with letting 8+ kids go to the park on their own in most circumstances. At that age I was miles from home, fishing, on my own. Not that I expect that much these days for most kids. They just don't have the skills to navigate something like that. I guess, I am more free range than helicopter parent. I am also frustrated by the contradictions--let your kids play outside, but hover over them all the time. They need to eat healthy, but healthy food is expensive and time consuming, but you need to work 2 and 1/2 jobs to feed them anything at all. Teach them responsibility, but chores are abusive. I think that this article illustrates that tendency. The state latches onto whatever study or perspective is convenient so that they can control the population through fear of losing their kids. I also think that your perspective illustrates that. People will latch onto one aspect so that they can feel superior but not see the whole picture. It's all controlling and invasive and... weird. It also doesn't really help anyone, especially children. It's not support, it's not education, it's judgment.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 10:52 AM
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originally posted by: 0010110011101
found more than one in nine children had not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment for at least a year.

Maybe its because parents do not want their children to get accidentally pricked with 'used needles' in the inner city parks, or pay extortionate parking costs to the greedy councils along beach fronts even during Winter months.

UK and sunshine ! something just does not seem right here. Oh that big yellow ball in the sky that comes out maybe once a month and everyone freezes in horror because they have never witnessed it before.

This is what happens when government policies keep peasants permanently poor. Take the kids out and get them a soft drink because we are hopefully going to add a new tax to soft drinks now to fuk you peasants up even more.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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a reply to: Cobaltic1978

Yep... I did the same as you back then.

Today though there are hardly any derelict buildings left to play in or disused areas which havn't been built upon.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 11:42 AM
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Kind of sad..at the same time maybe just as well considering what lies outside the front door for some people. I'm half kidding but agree it's waaaayyy different now then when I was young..not in any good way that I can think.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 11:57 AM
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As long as I was back at a reasonable time, I pretty much did what wanted as a kid taking the bike out all day riding from friends to friends on different estates having bike races playing football or some sport. It was basically just being out all day doing what kids do. I don't see it as often with the kids round here, which is much safer than where I grew up. Kids don't seem to be out on bikes as much these days. Bikes were a big thing when I was a kid. I think parents have probably got over protective



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 02:14 PM
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Digital imprisonment at free will...

Something we all have to face if we keep heading the way of modern technology.

Why go outside if we can create virtual everything in the future , one have to watch hololens connected to some high intelligent Ai and you walk or stand on the peak of the mount everest in your t-shirt. .







 
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