Indoor Playgrounds Provide a Needed Outlet During the Cold Winter Months
These cold winter days are long ones for teachers in many parts of the country. When the wind chills are dangerously low and principals and teachers make the decision for indoor recess, children across the country face another day of little physical activity. And while there are many indoor games and activities that can help pass the time of a 20 to 30 minute free period, it is important to make sure that whenever possible students are allowed to get outside and enjoy the chance to get some physical exercise.
In as effort to address the problem of keeping kids healthy and addressing the problem that Nationally, the childhood obesity rate in America is at 18.5%, more and more schools are paying closer attention to the activity levels of students while they are at school. Not surprising, places like family fast food restaurants, shopping malls, and hospitals are creating indoor spaces that can encourage physical activity. Making sure that the nation’s next generation is more healthy has gained the attention of educators, health professionals, and public space planners.
The best way to make sure that school children are getting the physical activity that can keep them healthier is with added recess periods. In fact, some of the most recent studies indicate that having more recess not only benefits the physical aspects of a student, but their mental attributes as well.
How Much Physical Activity Does Your Child Get in a Day?
Unfortunately, children ages 8 to 18 spend 4.5 hours each day watching TV in various forms, including on their mobile phones and the Internet, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Every minute that is spent with a screen is a minute of very limited, if any activity. For this reason it should come as no surprise that more and more companies are trying to create both indoor and outdoor playground ideas. Ideas that will entice kids to leave their technology behind and instead run, jump, climb, and slide. And while indoor playground equipment prices can be high, the price of paying for another generation that does not get enough physical activity is worse.
In addition, parents, as well as playgrounds, can help encourage young children to be active. In fact, following more than 1,000 families with activity trackers, researchers discovered that children would engage in more exercise if their parents did too. For this reason, a growing number of groups sponsor family friendly walks, runs, and other events.
If you are a parent, principal, or teacher who is counting down the days until warmer weather, you surely understand the allure of indoor playground equipment. The latest research from the American Heart Association recommends that children over the age of two engage in at least one hour a day of moderate physical activity. Are your children reaching these goals?