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National Wildlife Federation Says Outdoor Time for Kids Can Help First Lady Achieve Her “Let's Move” Goal
Date:2/9/2010

door play in their backyards, at local parks, or any green space that offers the opportunity to connect with nature.

Last week’s release of the citizen’s petition and organizational sign-on letter to Surgeon General Benjamin demonstrates the diverse community that is rallying together around the common goal of getting America’s families healthy again and reconnected with nature.

The medical, education, and environmental communities ask the Surgeon General to recommend that all American children and their families take time everyday to Be Out There and interact with the natural world.”

Today’s children have had less contact with nature than any generation in human history. A new study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that daily media use among young kids and teens is up dramatically from five years ago. The average American child (ages 8 to 18) now spends seven hours 38 minutes plugged in each day. That's 53 hours per week watching electronic entertainment media—more than the equivalent of a full-time work week.

While this is a troubling trend for the future of conservation, our economy, the health of our children, and the wellbeing of our communities are also at stake. Over the last 20 years childhood obesity has doubled, adolescent obesity has tripled, and instances of ADHD have increased. There is compelling research in the fields of public health, psychology, and elsewhere documenting that America’s ‘indoor childhood’ has significant implications on a child’s physical and mental health. Children reap significant benefits when encouraged to spend active time in an outdoor setting interacting with nature.

NWF invites parents to make the 2010 Be Out There Resolution to spend more time outside with their kids. Every
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