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Outdoor games may boost academics, cut obesity in kids


Children who focus more on physical activities, especially outdoor games, will have improved academic successes and reduced obesity level in an early age, new research says.

The findings showed that the physical activity levels of children are continuing to fall well short of recommended levels, which can harm their health as well as academic attainment.

They are spending far more time in front of the screens than the maximum recommendation of only two hours a day, which needs to be reduced, the study said.

“The amount of time children spend in front of screens has had an impact on their wellbeing for many years. The popularity of computer games and the emergence of the internet, smartphones and social media have contributed further to this problem,” said lead author John Reilly, Professor at University Of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Strategies to promote physical activity and reduce screen time should place a higher emphasis on playing actively outdoors, something children could potentially do 365 days a year, the researchers suggested.

“Playing benefits children in helping them to develop socially and emotionally, so promoting active outdoor play would have many benefits in addition to improving physical activity, improving academic attainment and reducing obesity,” Reilly noted.

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