Youth in housing projects spend more time playing outside than other city children
Children in urban public housing projects spend much more time playing outside than other city youth, according to a new study.
Researchers from Rice, Columbia and Princeton Universities found that 5-year-olds in these neighborhoods played outside, on average, 13 percent more than other urban youth of the same age. Moreover, high rates of outdoor play were linked to a low risk for obesity. Each hour spent playing outside correlated to a Body Mass Index decrease of 1.5 percentile points.
Rice sociology professor Rachel Kimbro noted that the "key to solving obesity problems among poor, urban children is to create safe and open spaces where these kids can play."
The researchers noted that mothers' perceptions of the neighborhood's social cohesiveness influenced how much time their children spent out of the house. The abundance of community playgrounds and courtyards may be another contributing factor to an affinity for outdoor play.
Kimbro added that "given the importance of maternal perception, it becomes critical to create community-based programs that seek to facilitate trust and neighborhood social networks in these low-income, urban areas."
Masters in Social Work candidates may choose to research child well-being in disadvantaged communities. Their coursework may lead them to employment as counselors in community-based youth services.
POSTED BY: ec_admin - February 18th, 2011 at 03:52pm ( 0 )