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Good Housekeeping
Jennifer Chan, Assistant Managing Editor
April 17, 2012

Girls Are Less Likely to Spend Time Playing Outdoors

Research shows that keeping your kids--especially young femmes--indoors all the time may deprive them of certain health benefits. By Jennifer Chan
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When was the last time your kids played patintero and agawan base? If your kids are like most children today, it's probably been a while. According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, kids today simply don’t get out of the house as much. Girls, in particular, seem to spend more time cooped up indoors than boys. 

In an effort to delve deeper into the subject, researchers studied 8,950 kids in the US who were in their last year before grade school. They wanted to find out just how large the discrepancy of outdoor play was between boys and girls. 

Upon analysis of the results, researchers declared that girls were 16 percent less likely to be taken out than boys. Why? According to lead researcher Pooja Tandon of Seattle Children's Hospital, boys might be more insistent on going out more. On the other hand, girls just might be less athletic, preferring to stay inside. Societal norms might also have a hand in reinforcing such a setup. 

Unfortunately, staying inside the house does nothing for girls. In fact, the study cites that one possible reason women tend to be more vulnerable to atopic and autoimmune diseases is because they lack exposure to microorganisms that could have strengthened them against such attacks. Other reports also emphasized the importance of exposing girls to the outdoors. Apparently, being able to play outside helps kids develop their motor and cognitive skills. 

Remember to encourage your kids to be physically active. Simply sitting in the backyard fiddling with a video game doesn’t count as playing outdoors. Kids follow your example. If you start spending more time with them outdoors, perhaps they'll be more inclined to play out in the sun on their own.

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  • RossMorales Apr 17 2012 @ 09:32am Report Abuse
    I agree. We should let kids enjoy playing outside so they can get started on being active even at a young age. That's why when my nephew visits and asks me if he could play outside, I always allow him. :)
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Jennifer Chan
Assistant Managing Editor
Jennifer Chan was a contributing writer for Female Network for two years before formally joining the team as a staff writer in July 2012... Read more...
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