Kids can get pretty intense exercise – and have loads of fun – just playing on the playground.
But researchers at North Carolina State University concluded that hovering parents, over-concerned with safety, can put a damper on these crucial experiences of childhood.
A team of observers fanned out to 20 neighborhood parks in the Durham, NC area to take notes on kids at play. They found that when parents were too close by, they tended to inhibit more highly active behaviors.
There were three other interesting findings.
- Girls were less likely to be involved in highly active play than boys.
- The presence of one or two highly active kids tended to pull up the activity level of other kids in the group. And
- Organized sports also fostered higher levels of physical activity than did unstructured play.