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Canadian survey found children are not spending as much time outdoors as their parents did

October 11, 2012

A new survey conducted by ParticipACTION looked at how many children are spending time outdoors in comparison to how much time their parents were outdoors when they were younger. The survey, which collected about 800 responses from Canadian adults who have children between 4 and 14, showed a big difference between how many adults spend their time outdoors and how much time their children spend in nature.

The results showed that 50.4 percent of Canadian parents of school-aged children played games outside such as hide and seek and tag each day when they were kids. However, only 19 percent said their children do the same.

The survey also found that nearly half of parents at 45.1 percent did not teach their children basic games they played as a child. About 28.6 percent explained that their children were in other organized sports and that was why, while 19.3 percent said their child would rather play videogames or watch TV. Also, 19 percent said their kids just weren't interested in it.

As a result of the findings, ParticipACTION launched a marketing campaign to get more kids out there, and it's called Bring Back Play.

"Let's bring back play and give kids the unstructured active time that used to be part of every childhood," said Kelly Murumets, president and CEO of ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada.  "Let's offer them options besides computers and TV, and work with our neighbors to address safety concerns, so that our kids have the chance to run around freely, let loose and direct their own activities. They'll be happier, healthier and stronger for it!"

The campaign is complete with a series of commercials and digital banner ads in hopes of motivating kids and parents to get out there and start playing.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and teenagers need to get about one hour of physical activity in each day. Parents who find their children are not getting adequate exercise may want to take this time as a benchmark to start new healthy regimens with their kids.

Those who want to talk about the recent survey can make calls to Canada using international calling cards


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