More than half of American parents are worried their kids aren’t playing outside enough, according to a new poll.
A survey of 5,000 parents of children ages 5 to 13, split evenly by state, found that 57 percent are concerned their kids aren’t as excited about playing outdoors as they were when they were little.
The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Claritin found that parents are telling their kids to play outside an average of four times a week — with Alaska, Arizona and Missouri parents encouraging their children the most, at an average of six times a week.
Parents reported their children spend just five hours a week playing outdoors, less than an hour a day.
Alaska, Arizona, Missouri, North Dakota and Wyoming parents are able to get their kids outside for an average of six hours a week.
Reasons parents encourage their children to play outside included getting fresh air (51 percent), taking a break from screen time (47 percent) and exercise (42 percent).
Of the parents surveyed, 75 percent said creating memories of playing outdoors with their children is a top priority. More than three-quarters agreed that most of their time growing up was spent playing outside, while just under three-quarters feel that kids in this generation don’t appreciate the outdoors as much as their generation.
Seventy-eight percent agreed that their favorite childhood memories were playing outdoors.
“Our survey showed us that 66% of parents believe it’s important for them to recreate their outdoor childhood memories with their kids,” said Catherine Vennat, a spokesperson for Claritin.
While parents are concerned their kids don’t want to play outside, the poll shows that kids are actually excited to be outdoors.
Places kids play the most include their backyard (61 percent), front yard (54 percent) and their local parks (50 percent).
Parents did admit that their families would spend more time outside if their personal spaces or local parks were more exciting.
The survey showed parents believe playing outdoors would benefit a child’s physical health (72 percent), creativity and imagination (63 percent) and mental health (60 percent).
“The survey revealed that 65 percent of parents surveyed are often trying to come up with creative new activities to keep their child excited about getting outside,” said Vennat.
Thirty-seven percent of parents said their children enjoy just running around the neighborhood with their friends.
Last year, Claritin introduced families to the Outsideologist Project, a multi-year initiative that provides families with tools and resources to spend more time outside.
“We’re excited to provide families with those fun and creative ways to get outside, whether in their own backyard, local park, or anywhere in between, so they can enjoy the many mental and physical health benefits that come with it,” Vennat said.