There’s nothing more important to Pro-Techs Surfacing than kids being able to play safely outdoors via high-quality playground flooring. This is because playing outside is an integral part of being a child. And it’s important to remember this these days more than ever, as smartphones and increasingly technologically-savvy households draw us further and further inside.
But as our children spend less and less time playing outdoors, they don’t receive the numerous benefits that accompany outdoor play and being outside in general. Outdoor play is critical for two big reasons- one, it helps children obtain developmental skills like exploring, risk-taking, fine motor development and also ascertaining basic knowledge. Additionally, it’s important to try and implement time for outdoor play into your children’s schedule more than ever, because society is inhibiting outdoor play for children through saturating them with TV and computer use (and mobile phone use, as kids are getting cellphones earlier than ever before), unsafe neighborhoods, parents who are tired from increasingly demanding and hectic work schedules, lack of outdoor scheduling in public (and most) schools, elimination of recess in some occasions and increasingly rigorous standards for academic achievement that place grades as a higher priority than physical education (additionally, physical education standards are waning).
As you can see, there are physical and emotional benefits to increasing outdoor play for children. The physical advantages are particularly vast. A study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that susceptibility to myopia (nearsightedness) is significantly reduced in children who spend time outdoors. So much so, that the risk for myopia dropped two percent for each additional hour spent conducting outdoor play. This could possibly explain the huge increase in children with myopia and children needing eyeglasses, in general. Another physical benefit is that outdoor play increases attention span in children, which is incredibly important in a day age when an approximated 6.4 million kids between 4 and 17 have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Studies have shown that tranquil outdoor settings like beaches, parks and playgrounds help to reduce symptoms of ADHD, especially in younger children. Additionally, playing outdoors is widely known to reduce stress. Researchers from the Universities of Maryland and Colorado got together in 2014 and studied the effects that green schoolyards had on the stress of children. The study found there to be a huge correlation between increased time in green outdoor settings and lack of stress in school-age children. There are already so many additional stressors that plague our children nowadays- increased academic rigor, the looming threat of technology and subsequent cyberbullying, force to grow up or act older- and any way that can help alleviate the stress of our children is probably a good thing to try out.