Most kids don't spend 1 hour a day outside

March 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM
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FREEPORT, Maine, March 27 (UPI) -- Sixty percent of U.S. parents said their children spend less than an hour a day outdoors, a survey by L.L.Bean and the National Park Foundation indicated.

"Getting your children outside does not have to mean going for a long hike or needing expensive equipment. It can often be as simple as pitching a tent in your own backyard," Rob Hutchison, outdoor discovery school instructor at L.L.Bean, said in a statement. "By engaging your kids in the outdoors and making activities both educational and fun, they are more apt to develop a love of the outdoors and a desire to stay active."

To help families enjoy the outdoors, L.L.Bean suggested:

-- When weather allows, encourage the "sunny day rule": When the sun is shining, unplug to get kids, and parents, away from the television, computer and video games and into the backyard.

-- Clouding and stargazing can be done from any backyard with no equipment.

-- Turn your backyard into a bird-friendly habitat.

-- Fun, not fitness, should set the pace for family cycling. Teach good road habits and hand signals in an empty parking lot. Remember to wear a helmet.

-- Practice setting up a campsite in the backyard. During U.S. National Park Service Week April 21-29 more than 350 national parks offer free admission, all week.

The survey was designed and conducted by KRC Research Dec. 21 and Jan. 3. The poll of 1,006 U.S. adults has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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