That's the average percentage of time Canadians spend indoors every day.
These days we're more concerned about binge watching TV shows on Netflix, beating the next level on Candy Crush, and stalking our friends on Facebook to worry about what is outside our front doors. Our obsession with technology is consuming our lives so much we have forgotten how to spend time with the very thing we rely on to live. That’s right, nature is here to keep us alive, and get this, spending more time outside has positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing. The sad thing about our lack of time spent outdoors is the role it is playing on this generation of children. For the first time in the history of our existence children are believed to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
So how do we change this?
There are a variety of different options, and one easy solution is to become “Healthy by Nature.” This initiative is used to promote the strong and obvious link between healthy people and healthy parks, and the mental and physical benefits of spending time in outside.
Interested in becoming Healthy by Nature in Saskatchewan? SaskOutdoors can help as they offer a variety of programs to everyone and anyone! SaskOutdoors helps us safely, confidently and enthusiastically participate in outdoor and nature based recreation in all parts of Saskatchewan. Ever think of including outdoor education in your classroom, taking your family winter camping or simply learning more about recreation in nature? SaskOutdoors has it all.
This includes an exciting professional development opportunity called Growing up Wild that strengthens adults caregivers knowledge and expertise on getting children active outdoors. Growing up Wild is an early childhood education program that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through engaging children in nature early in life, SaskOutdoors hopes children develop lifelong positive impressions and connections with the world we live in. Growing up Wild provides educators, who participate in the course, with a variety of different activities, crafts and educational resources that revolve around nature, and allows for easy incorporation into teaching plans.
Helping build these connections early in children’s lives will help for the continuation of time spent outdoors, allowing them to absorb the health benefits. Instilling the benefits early will help make these initiatives lifelong habits and result in healthier lifestyles for the children, as well as their families.
But we can not only rely on our educators to instill this in our children, it has to be a full team effort. It is our responsibility to work as role models for the younger generations and the ones to come.
So, kick your kid off the couch and get them outdoors, go for a walk outside, or plan for at least one activity outside a day. Whatever you choose to do, just get outside, soak up all the benefits and get “Healthy by Nature”.
If you need new fresh ideas check out these websites for great resources and activities that work to connect your children to nature.
-Active Kids Club
-Childrens Outdoor Charter
-Active After School
This Blog was written by Megan Barrs, who completed her Fieldwork Placement with us at the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association head office in Regina, Saskatchewan as per the requirements for her degree program as a Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Regina.