Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Family activity a victim of time:

Time-poor families are missing out on being active & healthy by enjoying the great outdoors.
By Motherpedia
Date: September 29 2014
Editor Rating:

Time-poor Aussie families, a lack of quality community sporting and recreation facilities, and parents’ concern about the risks of outdoor play, are among the key reasons for falling levels of outdoor activity according to a survey conducted for Medibank.

The survey of Australian parents with children under the age of 13 reveals that technology and busy schedules are also causing families to spend less time outdoors.

The key research findings include:

  • Around 60% of children play outside for just one hour or less per day on average.
  • One third of children choose technology over play time with 40% owning their own tablets and 18% having a TV in their bedroom.
  • 1 in 10 families have access to playgrounds in poor condition, or have no access at all.
  • 1 in 10 children have too many scheduled extra activities to have free time outside.
  • 20%  of kids would prefer watching TV to going outside to play.

Together these factors are leading to an unhealthier nation, where obesity is now the leading cause of illness and premature death, affecting one in four children and three in five adults.

To help address these issues, Medibank is inviting not-for-profit groups across the country to apply for grants to spend on initiatives they believe will make their community a healthier place to be.

The $600,000 nationwide Medibank Community Grants help encourage healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness. One-off grants will be provided to projects that promote health and wellbeing. 

Medibank’s Chief Customer Officer Laz Cotsios said the Medibank Community Grants encouraged people of all ages to lead healthier lives.

“Our vision is that everyone in the community, regardless of their age, health status or where they’re from, will live longer in good health by being encouraged to eat well, stay mentally and physically active and connected with their communities," Mr Cotsios said.

To launch the Medibank Community Grants program, Medibank have created an exciting new play space in Melbourne's inner west. The giant interactive dinosaur ‘Muttaburrasaurus’, modelled on the species that lived in Australia around 100 million years ago, is located at McNish Reserve in Yarraville.  

A children’s book about the dinosaur’s outdoor adventures has been published and shared with local schools to further encourage imaginative outside play and invite kids down to the playground. Melbourne illustrator, Annie Davidson, illustrated the storybook about the Muttaburrasaurus entitled Playing outside is the BEST!. The book aims to bring the dinosaur to life and to keep young children interested in spending time outdoors. Copies can be found in local Medibank retail stores.

* * * 

To find out more and apply for a Medibank Community Grant, visit here

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