Children’s Play and Their Physical Health

With the presence of the media, transport patterns, and the physical environment of today, it has been suggested that the current conditions of the society have reduced the consistency and opportunities for children’s play, harming their play health and physical development as a result. Because of this, it was noted that such reduction has been a significant concern in terms of health perspective for children (“Play Health and Physical Development for Children,” 2009). Play is often associated with childhood, a phase that stresses the concepts of natural creativity and the liberty to play.
Hence, it is highly important to encourage children to engage in plays with a creative format channeled towards learning. The purpose of play for children may not be explicitly expressed. However it should be taken into consideration that plays are something that actually children feel; an avenue where they can express themselves. It is an activity where they gain skills and experiment. Most importantly, play, especially the physical ones, provides positive outcomes that could be beneficial for the children in the long run (Jambor & Van Gils, 2007).
According to researches, physically active children are more likely to develop their sensori-motor skills and physical health at a higher level compared to children who do not play at all. Because physically active children learn how to use their body parts in order to experience the sense of play, they develop more of their gross motor skills, agility, strength, and coordination. Hence, active playing, especially outdoor games, serves as children’s physical exercise and promotes their health welfare (Jambor & Van Gils, 2007).

To further strengthen such claim, studies on children’s play in relation to physical health reveal that physically active children are less likely to develop chronic health conditions over a lifetime. Compared to sedentary children who are prone to hypertension and obesity, physically active ones have a lower risk of acquiring premature illness or death (Roberts, 1992). Other than the physical health benefits of children’s play, it was also found to contribute to a child’s emotional and psychological development, cognitive and learning stances, as well as their socialization and self awareness (Jambor & Van Gils, 2007).
Based on the evidences presented, it can be inferred that promoting children’s play, most especially outdoor and physical play, is beneficial for the physical health of children. Aside from this, such activity is also seen as a child’s social arena and an imperative process of learning things outside the book. In this regard, the benefits of play do not only restrict itself to physical heath, but it also contributes to the emotional and cognitive maturity of the children which can help them become better adults in the future.

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