Step Away From the Screen

By: Adam Lansdell

Spend a ‘Fortnite’ with the Great Outdoors Instead

A shocking 2018 study, conducted by the U.K.-based research firm OnePoll, found that the average child spends just seven hours a week outside and over twice that amount of time playing video games inside. Video games are everywhere – your smartphone, tablets, TVs and sometimes they’re even waiting for you in places you’d never expect, like hidden tabletop tablets disguised as ordering devices at your local Applebee’s. As technology becomes increasingly portable, so do the chances that your child regularly engages with those mind-numbing, addiction-inducing games we all seem to love so much.

Video games aren’t all bad. A 2016 study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that kids and teens who played video games for five hours a week or more evidenced significantly higher intellectual function, higher academic achievement, better peer relationships and fewer mental health difficulties than those who played games less or not at all.

However, very little can beat or supplement the benefits one can receive from tried-and-true physical activity, sunlight and fresh air. Plus, choosing your own adventure on a screen isn’t the same as crafting your own while you explore the great outdoors.