U.K. Kids Spend Less Time Outside Than Prison Inmates, Study Says

Kid Using Ipad Under Parental Supervision
Mint—Hindustan Times via Getty Images Aadit, using an iPad for games under his mother's supervision as Children and smart devices - Studies have shown that time-bound exposure to games can actually help kids develop better sight, reflexes as well as analytical skills on May 18, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Mint—Hindustan Times via Getty Images

About 3/4 of kids in the U.K. are spending less than an hour outside on an average day

Kids in the United Kingdom are spending less time outside than prisoners, according to a new study.

A survey of 2,000 parents in United Kingdom finds that nearly three quarters of children are spending less than one hour outside every day, the Guardian reports. About 20% are not going outside at all on a regular basis. U.N. guidelines mandate that prisoners receive “at least one hour of suitable exercise in the open air daily.”

“The truth is we are enclosing our children,” Mark Sears, an advocate for “wild play,” told the paper. “We are stifling their ability to be free, to be at their best as children and it is having significant impacts.”

Though the survey was commissioned by the laundry detergent brand Persil as a part of its “Dirt is Good” campaign, it aligns with goals laid out by government officials in the U.K. The environment secretary announced an effort to get every child to visit a national park on Wednesday, according to the Guardian.

In the U.S., First Lady Michelle Obama has been a fierce advocate for getting children outside for play time as a part of her “Let’s Move” initiative.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team