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As I See It

Kids who no longer like to play outside missing out

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Kids, go outside and play. That was a common refrain for my brother and me when we were young. Our parents often told us to go outside, and we were happy to do so. In retrospect, our parents probably wanted us out of the house because they were sick of seeing us, or just needed a break. But outside meant fun. In the summer, we rode our bikes, we climbed trees, we played kick the can, shot hoops and hit dirt clod fights. It was all good fun. Not always clean fun, but we weren’t afraid to get dirty. In the winter, we spent hours sledding whenever the snow was deep enough. Or sometimes we were expected to shovel, but even that beat being cooped up in the house. Fast forward to today. We know kids these days are often tied to their video games, but a new study out of Britain shows just how much today’s kids are glued to the couch. The study of parents and children ranging in age from six to sixteen finds the Snapchat generation spends on average, just seven hours per week outside. One hour per day. It seems kids today prefer just about anything to playing in the mud. In fact, according to this study, 10 percent would even rather do homework than spend time in the wilderness. The study finds four in ten have never gone camping, nearly half have never built a fort, and more than half have never climbed a tree. Instead they are playing video games, watching tv and listening to music. Seven hours outside was a typical day, not week, when I was a kid, and I don’t feel like I missed out on a thing.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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