Physical Benefits

  • A report for Public Health Wales in 2014 found that 11.3% of children in Wales are obese. It found that 26% of children starting school had an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI).This is 4% higher than in England (1).
  • One of the main contributing factors alongside poor diet is inactivity. Director of the National Obesity Forum Wales, Dr Nadim Haboudi says ‘Children have computer games, iPads and they sit there for hours’ (2).
  • A study undertaken by the University of Essex found that there has been a decline of 10% in children’s cardiovascular health over a decade (3). There has also been a reported reduction in children’s ability to do physical tasks such as sit-ups (4).
  • The prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness) amongst young European adults has doubled in the last half a century. Various studies suggest that more time outdoors in bright daylight is the way to prevent this epidemic (5).
  • Grahn et al. (1997) found that children attending an ‘outdoor in all weather’ day care facility took fewer sick days from their programme than their peers who attended an urban day-care facility surrounded by tall buildings (6).
  • A study conducted by Morris et al. (2002) found that a series of nine activities which linked a gardening activity with nutrition education led to significant changes to students’ eating behaviours and increased environmental awareness (7).

 

  1. Public Health Wales: Childhood measurement Programme for Wales. Annual Report 2015.
  2. http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/677952Reported by BBC News. July 31st 2014 ‘Over one-in 10 Welsh children starting school obese’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-
  3. Essex University Study; Reported by Guardian Dec 22nd 2009. Quoted in National Trust report ‘Natural Childhood’ p 5.
  4. Acta Paediatrica (2011); Reported by Guardian May 21st 2011.Quoted in National Trust report ‘Natural Childhood’ p5.
  5. Reported by Nature. March 18th 2015 ‘The Myopia Boom’ http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120
  6. Grahn et al. (1997) quoted in Rickenson et al. (2004) ‘A Review of Research on Outdoor Learning’ National Foundation for Educational Research and King’s College London’. pp 40.
  7. Morris et al. (2002) quoted in Rickenson et al. (2004) ‘A Review of Research on Outdoor Learning’ National Foundation for Educational Research and King’s College London’. pp 40.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *