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Turf QLD Industry Alert |Screen time beats outdoor play for most Australian children

Screen time beats outdoor play for most Australian children

The West Australian newspaper posted the following on Monday the 29th of May 2017

This shows the benefit of outdoor play versus indoor activities especially on iPads outdoors rather than spending time in front of screens. Picture: Picture: Ian Munro

They might look like typical kids but Charlie, Billy and Max Leitch are bucking the trend.

The Mt Lawley brothers spend a lot more time playing outdoors than they do in front of screens, which is opposite to most Australian children.

Recent research by industry group Turf Australia has found Australian kids under 12 spend an average of more than 16 hours a week, or 2.3 hours a day, in front of a screen.

In contrast, the average Australian child spends 1.2 hours a day playing outside.

WA children are spending more time outdoors, with an average of 1.4 hours “green time” a day compared with 2.2 hours screen time, according to the study.

“Outdoor play is so important not only for a child’s physical activity, but (also for) their social interaction and development, creativity, problem-solving skills and self-confidence,” Karen Martin, University of WA associate professor at the university’s school of population and global health, said.

“It is recommended that kids spend about two hours on screens each day, but most exceed that.”

Charlie, Billy and Max’s mother Tamzin Leitch said her children spend about four hours a week in front of screens, including television.

“They don’t have the time or equipment to be looking at screens – we’ve kept them away from things like iPads,” she said.

“They will still play computer games every now and then but they like to play sport and we’ve got a big backyard.”

Mrs Leitch said her daughter Isabella, 13, was increasingly needing screen time as she got older.

Nature Play WA chief executive Griffin Longley said parents should encourage their children to play and explore in natural environments.



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