Children spend less time outside than some prisoners

Friday, April 1, 2016

Persil has created a new advertising campaign – ‘Free the Kids’ – to highlight the fact that most children spend less time outside during the day than maximum security prisoners.

According to a survey carried out by Persil for the ad campaign, 74 per cent of children in the UK play outside for less than an hour a day.

The finding is from research carried out by One Poll of 1,000 parents and 1,000 children aged six to 11.

The ad has been posted on social media is part of the detergent manufacturer’s longstanding initiative ‘Dirt is good’, which has been encouraging children to spend more time playing outside for nearly a decade.

The post on Facebook says, ‘Who spends more time outside, a child… or a maximum-security prisoner? UK kids spend less free time outdoors than maximum security prisoners. It’s time to free them. This video looks inside the minds of prison inmates to find out exactly how much their outdoor time means to them.’

The video features interviews with inmates from Wabash Maximum Secure Prison in Indiana talking about how they value the two hours a day they are allowed to spend outside.

 

Separate research carried out for the campaign in ten countries found that almost a third of children play outside for 30 minutes or less a day and one in five don’t play outside at all on an average day. Children spend twice as much time on screens inside as they do playing outside.

Maddie Fisk, assistant brand manager, Persil, said, ‘We have been saying “dirt is good” for almost ten years. Today, the brand is evolving this philosophy to ensure it continues to resonate and drive debate. 

‘This latest iteration of the campaign focuses on Persil’s commitment to rebalance children’s lives, following global research which revealed children spend less time outside than prison inmates.’

In partnership with parents, educators and leading child development experts, including Sir Ken Robinson and Stuart Brown, Persil said it was investigating the best ways to help children play, explore and get dirty every day so that they can learn and develop.

Sir Ken, leading expert in education, creativity and human development, and chair of the Dirt is Good Child Development Advisory Board, said, ‘Academic research shows that active play is the natural and primary way that children learn. It is essential to their healthy growth and progress, particularly during periods of rapid brain development. Yet, too often play is disregarded as frivolous and pointless. Consequently, there’s a growing, and alarming, tendency to reduce time for active play in children’s lives - both at school and home.’

‘There is a clear play imbalance emerging. Screens are a wonderful source of both education and entertainment but children need to be exposed to varied stimulus. Allow a child to be free outside with no structure and no gadgets and you will marvel at what they can achieve.’

Persil is also encouraging schools to take part in ‘Empty Classroom Day’, part of a worldwide campaign to get millions of children learning outdoors and outside the classroom.

Ms Fisk added, ‘We believe that getting dirty through hands-on exploratory play is essential to prepare children for the future.’

https://outdoorclassroomday.com/

 

 

 

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