Playing outside has never been a less popular option for children.
Children are kept inside out of fear of crime more and more even though all forms of crime are at their lowest levels since the 1950s. This is because like their children, parents watch too much TV, and in particular, too much TV news. TV news, which makes money by scaring you into watching, turns one crime in the entire country into a first person experience for tens of millions of people, even though they might live 2000 miles from where the crime took place. A crime that happened two time zones away seems like it happened on your street, so you lock your children in the house and put them in front of the TV.
Children are kept inside because there is a pathological fear of the sun that Dracula would find extreme. Never mind that people spent their entire lives in the sun for 2 million years. And never mind that the most dangerous forms of skin cancer have nothing to do with sun exposure. And never mind that Vitamin D and sun exposure is turning out to be very important for many bodily functions including the immune system and mental health.
And it seems that in addition to making children fat, physically weak, and unable to concentrate, keeping children indoors also seems to weaken their eyes. According to an article in LifeHacker, Spending More Time Outdoors May Help Prevent Nearsightedness. Exposure to bright sunlight regulates the growth of the eye itself, and by doing so, helps prevent the type of eye growth that causes myopia, also known as nearsightedness.
The pattern here is obvious. The human body is built for activity, and specifically outdoor activity. Cavemen, and pre-historic children did not sit indoors in school for 6 hours per day, and then spend another 4.5 hours per day (the national average for children) motionless in front of the TV. They moved around outside. So our bodies are made to do the same.
If you do not encourage your children to run and play outside in the sun, they will be less healthy and less happy.
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