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Research, sustainability and learning
Bridging the gap between science and the practice of learning for nature, the environment and sustainability
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Children who spend three-quarters of their time in sedentary behavior have up to nine times poorer motor coordination than active peers

Children who spend three-quarters of their time in sedentary behavior have up to nine times poorer motor coordination than active peers | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

American Journal of Human Biology

 

The study, involving Portuguese children, found that physical activity alone was not enough to overcome the negative effect of sedentary behaviour on basic motor coordination skills such as walking, throwing or catching, which are considered the building blocks of more complex movements.

 

"Childhood is a critical time for the development of motor coordination skills which are essential for health and well-being," said lead author Dr Luis Lopes, from the University of Minho. "We know that sedentary lifestyles have a negative effect on these skills and are associated with decreased fitness, lower self-esteem, decreased academic achievement and increased obesity."

 

Dr Lopes' team studied 110 girls and 103 boys aged nine to ten from 13 urban elementary schools. The children's sedentary behaviour and physical activity were objectively measured with accelerometers (a small device that children attach to their waist that quantifies movement counts and intensities) over five consecutive days. Motor coordination was evaluated with the KTK test (Körperkoordination Test für Kinder), which includes balance, jumping laterally, hopping on one leg over an obstacle and shifting platforms.

 

The tests were supplemented with a questionnaire for parents to assess health variables, before the authors compiled the results into three models to calculate odd ratios for predicting motor coordination. These were adjusted for physical activity, accelerometer wear time, waist to height ratio and home variables.

 

Read more http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120815082723.htm

 

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Play, naturally: A review of children´s natural play

Play, naturally: A review of children´s natural play | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

The authors provide an extensive review of the literature related to children’s natural play. They begin by examining the human relationship with the natural world and the importance of play and direct interaction with the physical environment to children. Lester and Maudsley then review the important opportunities that natural play provides, such as the creation of special places, and the numerous documented and potential benefits of children’s play in natural settings, including the development of a sense of self and independence.

 

The authors discuss evidence demonstrating a decline in children’s access and opportunities to play in natural spaces and provide a range of suggestions to support children’s opportunities to play in natural settings, such as through the design of effective playgrounds, school grounds, and environmental play projects, as well as ensuring adequate access to parks and nature reserves

 

by Stuart Lester and Martin Maudsley, Playwork Partnerships

Published 2 August 2006, Children's Play Council

 

To download the report go to: http://www.playday.org.uk/PDF/play-naturally-a-review-of-childrens-natural%20play.pdf

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Natural Play. An evaluation of GfL's project work with eight primary schools in Central Scotland

Natural Play. An evaluation of GfL's project work with eight primary schools in Central Scotland | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

A growing body of evidence suggests that play has a significant impact on almost every area of children’s lives. It also suggests that children have significantly fewer opportunities for non-prescriptive ‘free play’ than previous generations have enjoyed.

 

Most children spend at least 2000 hours of their life in a school playground, probably more than in any other outdoor play setting. Despite this, many UK schools do little to create the kind of rich play environments and experiences that we know are important for children.

 

In other parts of Europe, play is viewed as a crucial aspect of school life – and their playgrounds and play practice are radically different from what we know here in the UK. (see for example our case studies on the radical approach taken by schools in Berlin).

 

With support from Inspiring Scotland, we embarked on a 2-year project with 8 Scottish primary schools to explore whether some of these more ambitious European-style ideas could be adapted to a UK context and to assess what the benefits of this approach might be for children.

 

This report summarises the approach we took, the lessons we learned and the impact of these projects on children and schools.

 

January 2012

 

Read more: http://www.ltl.org.uk/pdf/Natural-Play-Evaluation-Report-1332848772.pdf

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Designing Environments to Promote Play-Based Science Learning| CYE Volumes

Designing Environments to Promote Play-Based Science Learning| CYE Volumes | Research, sustainability and learning | Scoop.it

The Children, Youth and Environments Journal has just published its largest issue ever. Volume 21, number 2 includes more than 20 original, peer-reviewed papers on topics such as child development in colonias; street children; travel to school; place attachment; gendered play in natural landscapes; and perceptions of nature.

 

It includes papers on formal and informal science learning through play; playing to learn at home and in the community; and researching playful science learning.

 

Papers cover research from the Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, and the USA.

 

The full issue can be accessed at http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/index_issues.htm

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