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February 15, 2011

In my class we recently talked about health and nutrition  and because of some time off I was unable to take the planned exam with the class so my teacher gave me the option of doing a research type report on the health benefits of being outdoors. i wanted to share a few with you as this is something I feel strongly about and i will constantly bring up over our time together:

  • In Canada childhood obesity has tripled over the last 25 years and now approximately one quarter of children between the ages of 2-17 are currently overweight or obese
  • Active play stimulates the child’s digestive system and helps improve appetite; ensuring continued strength and bodily growth (Clements 1998)
  • As natural environments have not been landscaped, cleared or levelled the ground cover is uneven and therefore leads to more advanced motor fitness including balance, agility and coordination (Fjortoft 2001)
  • Nature offers the right light, shapes and motion for your child’s eyes to develop. A baby can be born with perfect, healthy eyes but what happens and what he/she is exposed to in her first few years of life will affect how he/she will be able to see. Frequent exposure to nature allows the proper development of the part of the brain that controls the coordination of the two eyes and how he/she understands and interprets what is seen. (McCain,  Mustard, and Shanker 2007).
  • Also a decrease in children’s time spent outdoors is contributing to an increase in children having Myopia (Pyle 2002)
  • Current research has come through expressing that exposure to the natural world improves children’s cognitive development by improving their awareness, reasoning and observational skills ( Pyle 2002)
  • It has also been found that nature helps children develop powers of creativity and instills a sense of peace and being at one with the world (Crain 2002).
  • I feel that the best way to understand what your body needs from nature is to go out and experience it: Go for a walk, find a hidden shelter in the forest, create noise in a puddle for hours, crawl under a log and jump over a stump, feel what has been the most reliable source of peace for all of human history.(Jessie (ME) 2011)

So many reasons to go outside everyday. ❤


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