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Natural Leaders Network

Aussie Pre-teens Spend Most of Their Day Sitting Still, Study Shows

A study based in Australia found that long, unbroken stretches of sitting time are common among Australian 11-12 year olds. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Child Health CheckPoint reveals that this age group spends an average of 11 hours each day sedentary. The study, done jointly with the University of South Australia, examined physical activity and sedentary behavior of 1261 children aged 11-12 and 1358 of their parents over one week.

Washington State Invests $126 Million in Grants to Expand Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board awarded more than $126 million in grants to a suite of 333 projects that enhance & maintain outdoor recreation facilities and conserve habitat, working farms, & forests. Governor Jay Inslee described the grants as those that prioritize outdoor spaces so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy and protect them.

Children Living in Countryside Outperform Children Living in Metropolitan Areas in Motor Skills

A study conducted in Finland found that children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age-matched peers living in metropolitan areas. However, the study also found that children living in urban areas participated more often in organized sports. The study included children ages three to seven years old.

July is Park and Recreation Month

Throughout the month of July, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) will celebrate Park and Recreation Month to highlight the vital and powerful role local parks and recreation play in conservation, health and wellness, and social equity efforts in communities all across the country. Since 1985, America has celebrated Park and Recreation Month to raise awareness of the vital impact that parks and recreation have on communities across the U.S.

Newark Opens its Newest Downtown Park

After more than a decade of planning, Newark, NJ has opened its newest downtown park, Mulberry Commons. The $10-million project turns three acres of former parking lots into an outdoor public space. The park is intended to bring the community together with events, more greenery, and kids’ attractions such as a slide and a splash park.

A New Zealand Petition Urges the Government to Allow Outdoor Schools

In New Zealand, a petition has been presented to Parliament asking the Government to change the rules to allow full time bush-based early childhood education programs. The law currently states that early childhood education programs must have a dedicated indoor space for each child, which does not allow for fully outdoor programs.

Roads in central London to be closed for ‘Car Free Day’

A car free day is being planned for London in September in which over 12 miles of roads in central London will be closed to cars. More than half of London’s boroughs are organizing events for the day with many planning ‘Play Streets’ which see local roads closed off to through traffic to encourage children to play outside.

Study: Kids Gain More Weight During Summer Months

A new study that followed more than 200 kids over six years found that many kids gain weight during summer vacation. Factors that led to weight gain include more sedentary time indoors, such as playing videos games, and more access to junk food. The weight gain was especially true for lower-income families.

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