“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aristotle
With the world galloping towards progress, modernisation and development, little time is left for people to focus on their personal lives and improve the quality of living. We tend to focus on earning more to make our lives more luxurious while neglecting the small things that will actually help us in enjoying life fully. Life has certainly got in the way.
However, a disturbing trend among the youth today is growing usage of social media and smartphones in their free time. Where kids in the 80’s and 90’s used to resort to sports, music and other constructive hobbies, the children in the 21st century prefer to stay indoors and while away their time liking vacation pictures of someone they don’t even know personally in real life.
A few negative effects of remaining indoors and overfeeding on social media have been pointed out by certain studies:
- Studies suggest a correlation between high rates of TV viewing and social media with aggressive and violent behaviour.
- The attention hypothesis proposes that “TV viewing and dependency on social media and remaining indoors encourages impulsive behaviour and may decrease academic achievement, because it discourages any sustained activities.”
- High dependency on smart phones, TV/internet and long hours working indoors may cause serous damage to cognitive domain which may adversely impact physical and mental well being.
- Aging process is directly related to your physical & mental activities. Nature, Outdoor and Adventure guarantees longevity and energetic life.
Internet is surely a big boon and makes most of the things very simple and convenient in professional and personal lives. But excessive indulgence in anything is never recommended. We have listed a few more serious issues related with remaining indoors and benefits of outdoors, especially in children.
According to a study, the number of overweight children in urban cities and towns has almost tripled in less than 25 years. In 1980, obesity was at 7% among children and it has risen to almost 20% in 2005. Lack of outdoor activities has been cited as one of the major reasons for this exponential rise.
Doctors suggest that outdoor play is not only physically stimulating for kids, but it also makes them more aware of their surrounding improving their senses and hand-eye coordination.
OTHER HEALTH ISSUES
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is known to help protect the youth from health diseases, diabetes and bone problems. Doctors recommend at least 10-15 minutes of sun exposure daily. Also, children who spend more time playing in the daylight tend to have better distance vision than those who prefer to stay indoors.
We all know how often sports, exercise and other outdoor activities are mentioned to have an impact in reducing stress levels. The same is true for children as well. Doctors have also suggested that children who spend time outdoors tend to have a better temperament when compared to their counterparts who spend more time indoors.
Other benefits include better social interaction, improvement in critical thinking and teamwork. Some studies also suggest that spending more time outdoors may result in reduction of ADHD symptoms.
Children tend to develop more competencies when they are allowed to create and explore the world around them. This leads to enhanced confidence and abilities to face challenges in other aspects of their lives.
Outdoor play teaches kids to work through problems individually as well as in groups. They learn to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts and learn self-advocacy skills. These qualities will certainly go a long way in shaping a child’s future.