Do your kids fall short of achieving the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise? Though the weather may be turning cold (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), researchers suggest that sending children outside to play may boost weekly activity levels. Just make sure you keep kids bundled up!

The study followed 306 youngsters aged 9–17 who self-reported time spent outdoors after school. They also wore accelerometers to track activity levels. Researchers included accelerometer data if the device was worn for at least 3 days with a minimum of 8 hours of registered minutes of activity per day.

At study completion, the authors found that children who reported more time outdoors achieved higher levels of overall physical activity than those who spent less time outdoors. The first group also spent less time engaged in sedentary activities and presented with higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness than children who spent more time indoors.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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