Children in Britain spend just 16 minutes a day outside

Geoff Hurst has, today in the Times, written about a study produced by The Office of National Statistics, which states that children in Britain today spend an average of just sixteen minutes a day outside. This includes time spent outside at weekends.

This is a shocking statistic and one that I think we should all be very worried about. One of the causes of this is said to be time spent on screens. If ever there was a compelling argument for boarding school education, then surely this is one.

At Sunningdale, all the boys spend at least an hour playing sport every day, outside. During their mid-morning break, they are outside either playing in the woods, kicking a football around or playing some other game such as Eton Fives. In the evening there is a huge range of activities on offer such as art clubs, model making, fencing or judo.

The boys have access to technology when it enhances their learning and they use Chromebooks, tablets and desktop computers for their work. They also use technology for emails and video calls when they need or want to.

It is vital, though, that children learn to appreciate the outdoors, to understand the benefits of exercise and also to socialise with each other face to face. There is nothing quite like a boarding education for instilling these lifelong habits in today’s children.