Want your kids to settle down? Send them outside to play. It not only gives them a chance to run off some of their endless energy, new research shows children who spend more time outside in sunlight are calmer.
The study of 2-thousand kindergarteners finds a strong link between outdoor activity and fewer symptoms of hyperactivity. And it’s not just because they get to play, it’s the lighting that seems to make the biggest difference. Kids in the study wore a bracelet for two weeks that monitored their activity levels and how much light they were exposed to and their parents answered questions about if their child was restless, not paying attention, and their ability to engage in an activity.
The bracelets reveal that most kids were active for an average of 6.5 hours a day and the calmest kids in the study were active for 4.5 hours a day. The researchers didn’t find a link between the amount of time kids are active and calmness, but they did find that the more outdoor light a kid is exposed to, the fewer hyperactive symptoms they have. While this study is observational and only suggests a connection, researchers are now in the process of studying if children who have had a lot of outdoor time in kindergarten have better concentration and perform better in school than others.