The impact of COVID-19 on young people’s health and well-being and how physical activity and outdoor play plays a key role in their recovery.
the importance of outdoor play
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in closure of gyms, stadiums, pools, dance studios, parks, and playgrounds. Young people have particularly been affected by social and physical distancing.
Sport and outdoor play are commonly used to encourage cooperation, sportsmanship, and teamwork. They also promote respect and help encourage conflict resolution. Without sport programmes and access to playgrounds, many young people are losing the support system that plays such a key role in these areas of development.
what can be done?
After 18 months in which young people have missed out on so much, outdoor play and physical activity plays a key role in their recovery from this Global Pandemic. Researchers have highlighted the mental health implications of restricting outdoor recreation opportunities for young people and the need to increase access to the outdoors.Young people have been inside isolating for 18 months and need that outdoor connection to feel safe and secure, they are constantly being told to social distance but when outside they have more freedom to play and develop their health and well-being as well as their social needs. A well designed and stimulating outdoor play area makes a significant contribution to providing young people with the opportunities they need to play and therefore manage the stresses that the current crisis has created.
Early Years Advisor and Forest Schools Leader