Swiss children not spending enough time outdoors: report

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/22 9:23:30

A study released Monday by the Swiss charity Pro Juventute found that while Swiss children in the 1970s spent up to four hours playing outside and moving about every day, kids nowadays only spend an average of 47 minutes per day playing outdoors.

"Playing outdoors is beneficial not only to children's health but also to their physical well-being, language, emotions, and social relationships," said Urs Kiener from Pro Juventute in a statement.

"While children were moving about outside on average three to four hours per day in the 1970s, they now spend most of their school and free time sitting down," he added.

Findings show that there are significant regional differences in Switzerland, with children living in German-speaking areas spending on average 32 minutes playing outside every day unsupervised, compared to only 20 minutes in French-speaking parts.

According to the report, this trend is directly linked to the socio-economic and geographic environment in which children grow up in.

The ability of children to play outside in a non-supervised environment also depends on whether parents consider play areas suitably safe or not.

According to statistics, 15 percent of Swiss children never play outside while 20 percent do so only when supervised by an adult.

In light of this, Pro Juventute urged authorities to increase the number of adapted spaces available to children so that they can partake in outdoor activities as often and as safely as possible.

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