Why we need to pass on our love for the Aussie backyard for our grandkids’ health 88



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For most of us, growing up in suburban Australia was one of the best times of our lives. We’d leave the house and not come back til the street lights came on, and we’d play in the backyard til night time. The Hills Hoist was our favourite toy and we’d have endless fun swinging around! That was, until Mum told us to get down.

So what is it then that our grandchildren aren’t experiencing this same life outdoors? New research has shown that children aged between three and five who do not play in the garden are at a high risk of becoming obese by age seven.

The research which studied 6,500 English children, found that even when taking into account factors like food consumption, physical activity, education and poverty, not getting active in the backyard was a major risk factor in putting on weight.

And for some children, it’s not their fault – not everyone has a garden. But experts say this is fundamental to a healthy childhood – it didn’t matter if you came from a higher income family or a poorer one, childhood who don’t get outdoors have a 38 per cent increased risk of obesity.

“We showed that limits on access to outdoor space is associated with future childhood overweight/obesity,” said lead author of the study Annemarie Schalkwijk, of VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, reports Financial Express.

One in four Aussie kids are obese, which in turn increases the likelihood they will becoming one in three obese adults.

So what can we do to get our grandkids back in the yard? Well, if you have one, supervise them outdoors and let them run around. If they don’t have a yard, organise dates at the park. Oh, and give them a push on the Hills Hoist!


Tell us, do your grandkids get outside often?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Backyards are disappearing even in our country town. With lots of empty housing blocks in housing developments practically every house with a good size yard that goes up for sale has land cut from the original block and a house stuck on it leaving neither house with much yard. No playing footy or backyard cricket in the backyard any more.

  2. I noticed that cellulite my friend was fading, I asked her what she was doing and she said she was using the method of this site ROG5 .COM

  3. My brother Lance used to tie me to the clothesline when mum and dad were out and continually swing me around ….. Needless to say I would get very dizzy !!

  4. Notice the number of children. Many children do not have other children living nearby, or yards in which to play.

  5. My grandsons still do this on my hills hoist. We have a large backyard which my husband mows with his ride-on mower. Our eldest grandson mows the yard like the MCG so he can play footy. We even have goal and point posts

  6. There’s a high price to pay for these McMansions! There’s so little yard you can’t even have a backyard game of cricket anymore! There are parks in these new housing estates but kids are in care all day and busy on weekends so very little use is made of them. I think the Schools should take over the role of keeping our kids fit and start the day as they do in China with physical exercise. Also they should have after school sports of every kind and the kids would not have to go to After hours care. There would have to be payed physical instructors,not the poor school teachers who are expected to do everything these days. It would be a small price to pay for what seems to be an epidemic of young kids who will turn into adults with diabetes with all its nasty complications,and cost blow out to the health system.

    2 REPLY
    • Why should schools do what parents should be doing. They are the ones buying them all the indoor activities. Maybe if the took the kids to the park, beach etc the kids would be getting the exercise plus their parents would be saving money.

    • In an ideal world that should be happening,Wendy,but sadly the pressures on having two members of a family having to work their hearts out to pay these huge mortgages doesn’t leave time other than eat and go to bed in the week and then clean the house do the shopping and try and have one day off just to chill. Because this lack of exercise is going to bite the economy big time with obesity related disease,I’m trying to find a solution to getting these kids exercise. Certainly kicking off the morning at school with simple movement exercises like running on the spot star jumps etc would be an easy thing to do.

  7. My dad made ours and it used to go up and down by turning the backyard tap on and off we loved it and I must say I did use it as a swing once or twice x

  8. Our grandkids are very outdoor active……we don’t have a hills hoist but a swimming pool trampoline and they are allowed to clear the roof gutters to help us out!!! we regularly go to the park ride bikes

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