One of the most significant changes that was triggered by the play COVID-19. Epidemic has been our collective discovery of the great outdoors. As we get back to building more healthfully, we have the possibility to make. Use of this newfound engagement to increase our involvement to the natural world. And enhance the development and health of our children.
As a postdoctoral fellow in mental health promotion, and as the research manager of Outdoor Play Canada. We explore new strategies to improve access for young people to nature to improve. Their emotional, social physical and mental health.
The outbreak highlighted the major inequality in access to nature spaces in Canadian communities however. It has also provided an chance to promote the cause of equity and justice by rethinking the policies. That govern the use of outdoor urban spaces, such as residential streets. This strategy, in conjunction and other approaches, could help to shift society. Towards a direction that encourages active outdoor play for children in order to help. Their recuperation from the current pandemic and to ensure their overall health and well-being. This report, Outdoor Play in Canada: 2021 State of the Sector Report will help guide the efforts.
Statement of Position Play
The Statement of Position regarding active Outdoor Play was released in 2015 to inspire Canadian families. As well as schools and other services to ensure that children spend more time outdoors. And engaged in playing for their development and health. The position statement was created through an extensive process of engagement with practitioners, researchers and policymakers. It was also based on two systematic studies. It was the key to generating momentum for policy and investment reform to help children participate in active play outdoors.
Six years more later and in 2021, the State of the Sector Report provides an update on developments. In playing outdoors playing following the publication of the position statement . It also offers guidance on the future goals for the field. This includes:
- Promoting well-being, health, and development advantages of playing outdoors.
- Propagating, protecting and conserving as well as investing in play areas.
- Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the outdoor environment.
- Making sure that outdoor play activities are based on land and reflect the various languages. Cultures and viewpoints of Indigenous Peoples of North America.
- Conducting research and data collection on playing outside.
- Rethinking the way we think about the safety of outdoor play and play outdoors.
- Enhancing and enhancing professional development opportunities for outdoor play.
- Enabling collaborations across sectors and cross-sectors.
- Engaging opportunities to the outdoors throughout and following COVID-19.
A Revival Of Outdoor Play Living
While physical distancing limitations during the COVID-19 epidemic initially caused a decline in outdoor activity for children however, in the last one and a half years, the disease has brought about the return of outdoor activities. In the last year, a lot of people came back to the pleasures of cycling and walking and rediscovered winter. The perfect snow conditions provided the ideal conditions for residents to decorate Ottawa with snow-sculptures, while in the Prairies kids fought the parking lot snow piles.
Schools have found ways to allow students to learn outdoors and campsite reservations have increased significantly all across Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Experts discussed the possibility of an increase in activities that are free-range and work-from-home conditions provide the opportunity for children to take part in more independent mobility and play that is unstructured.
Research conducted by researchers from Canada and all over the world has shown that people appreciate and spend more time outdoors and times in parks and green areas throughout the epidemic. In Norway the study revealed that these shifts in behavior were evident at least six months later.
The pandemic also has raised awareness of the necessity for essential family support due to a substantial increase in the burden of care on women. In parallel, we’re witnessing policy changes that could improve support for children and families which include more flexibility in workplace policies, increased investments for daycare (and the possibility of licensing outdoor and forest daycare programs) and provincial programs that provide paid sick leave. In Scandinavia flexible working hours and rewards for time spent outdoors are a standard practice, and have been design to increase friluftsliv or living in open air.
Improve Well-Being Play For Families
The new and ongoing support can improve well-being for families, and help increase the chances of outdoor time that is enjoyable. Within the State of the Sector Report we emphasize how important it is to make outdoor activities the primary health-related recovery strategy. This can be accomplish by using streets to encourage active transportation as well as play and social interaction.
In the course of the pandemic that struck, we witnessed municipalities implement streets to close down in order to provide spaces to enjoy physical activity as well as to play sports. These efforts must be maintain. Making outdoor space for people to meet will not only increase the opportunities for outdoor activities, but it also helps strengthen communities and make them more secure. As we say in our report, we must to identify the champions, both at the local and at the level of the community, to ensure that these outdoor play initiatives continue to thrive.
Essential To The Health
Outdoor play is not just essential to the health and well-being of children but is also essential for the long-term environmental health. The time spent in nature from a young age is essential for the development of the future generation of environmentalists to take care of and protect the nature around them.
The continued implementation of some of these changes and reforms to policies can have a major effect on our environment. We must increase the movement towards outdoor play in order to improve the development and health of children , and to ensure that the generations to follow will have a safe environment to live in. Global lockdowns led to the greatest reduction in CO2 emissions from 1900.
It was the result of a pandemic that caused us to curb our consumption behavior. We are now aware that we are in the position to changes. We need to carry this forward into the futurefor our children as well as for us all.