Monday 15 April 2013


Having just come in from two hours freezing my bum on the doorstep reading my book while the kids rode around the car park opposite on their bike and scooter, then did chalk drawings all over the pavement in front of the house, I have to say I love seeing them play outside. But Juliette also has a friend, also aged 8, who is (according to her) "not allowed to go inside" all afternoon every Saturday or Sunday whatever the weather because her mum doesn't want her under her feet. I think a happy medium is good to find ! It's great to see the large number of kids at the park every time we go there. I'll definitely be looking out for more news on the Fresh Air Campaign as it sounds like a great initiative.



Survey unveils parental concern over stay indoors generation as JCB KIDS launches its FRESH AIR CAMPAIGN

Modern children spend just half of the time playing outdoors that their parents did when they were young, according to a study commissioned by JCB Kids to mark the launch of its ‘Fresh Air Campaign’.

Researchers found that today’s kids are more inclined to stay indoors and watch TV, play computer games and in some cases, even do their homework, than go outside to play.

The figures show that during the 1970s and 1980s when the current generation of parents were children, they enjoyed more than two hours of outside play each weekday, and a further nine hours at weekends – whatever the weather.

But today’s youngsters venture outside for just over an hour each weekday and less than five hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Sam Johnson, spokesperson for JCB Kids, comments on the survey findings: “It is alarming the extent to which today’s children are missing out on the outdoor play time which we enjoyed as children, which is why we have launched our Fresh Air Campaign

Playing outdoors is so important for children – not only to help them stay active and healthy, but also to socialise with friends – and create those treasured childhood memories which we look back on so fondly.

There are many distractions which divert kids’ attention from going outside, but as parents we need to encourage adventurous spirit and create imaginative, and of course safe, opportunities for them to get out there! Today’s children are spending a lot of time in front of the TV, playing on consoles and staring at computer screens.”

Cath Prisk, Director of Play England, a UK wide charitable organisation who promotes outdoor play for children and is supporting the JCB Kids Fresh Air Campaign commented: “It’s a sad reality that many kids don’t get outside to play every day anymore, and because they don’t go out, they don’t know their own communities as well as their parents did, they don’t have as many friends in the area and they don’t have the same opportunities for fun that many of their parents did.”

The study of 2,000 parents revealed that the average parent spent ten hours and 26 minutes playing outside during the working week whilst they were children – double the five hours and 32 minutes children head outdoors today.

Weekends identified similar results with youngsters spending just four hours and 32 minutes outside over the two days compared to the nine hours their parents played outdoors in the same period.

It also emerged that 44% of parents wish their children played outdoors more often, with 58% saying their children don’t play outside as much as other youngsters they know.

54% of people seriously worry their child doesn’t spend enough time playing outdoors.

Instead, 43% of children would rather watch television than go outside to play with friends, while another 42% prefer to play computer games.

Parents also said their children would rather surf the internet and listen to music with almost one in ten even claiming their offspring favoured doing their homework to going outside.

A third of parents polled also said their children will only play outside when it is sunny, with just 17% going outdoors whatever the weather.

In comparison, almost one in three parents said they enjoyed the fresh air come wind, rain or shine.

An astounding 43% of parents even admitted they rely on school to ensure their children are getting plenty of time outdoors through PE and playtimes and spend very little outdoor time with their children themselves!

Top ten things children would rather do than play outside

1. Watch TV
2. Play computer games
3. Play games
4. Play with toys
5. Read books
6. Go on the internet
7. Listen to music
8. Read magazines
9. Do their homework
10. Do chores

About the survey:

JCB Kids commissioned a survey through One Poll in March 2013, during which 2000 parents were polled as a representative sample from across the UK.

for more information  follow JCB Kids on twitter : and facebook : 

Other blogposts you may be interested in :


  1. A very sad statistic to see how little time kids spend playing outside.

  2. great campaign, number 10 on the list? not so sure about that

  3. Ha, do chores, my foot!? My kids love to go outside - even when it's freezing. My youngest has seen us pottering around in the garden and she takes it upon herself to fill up watering cans from waterbutts and goes round watering the garden (even if it's raining).


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