Spending time outside can lead to long-term happiness


Alexander Lamblez was celebrating his 3-year-old daughter's birthday at Gooseberry Park.

"She loves to go outside, and she's really happy every time she does," he said.

A new study found children who play outside are less likely to develop mental health disorders as adults. Not only do they get exercise, but they develop social skills when they play with others.

Four-year-old Anders says he loves to be outside and play football with his big brother because, "It makes you happy, football players get to be tackled."

With the growing use of technology, there's also growing competition for outside time. The Seattle Children's Research Institute found children only engage in about 12 minutes of active outdoor play each day.


"Nowadays kids spend too much time inside on tablets or whatever else it is that they're playing on, and I think they need more time outside to stimulate more senses of the body," said Lamblez.

Research shows just being outside 30 minutes per week can decrease symptoms of depression by 7%, so not only is time outdoors good for kids, but just stepping out for a bit during work can decrease stress and lead to higher job satisfaction.

"On your lunch break, you have the opportunity to go outside and eat your lunch outside, that'd probably be better, get your vitamin D, feel a little better about the day, and then you can go back inside and finish doing what you're doing," said Lamblez.

And if you can, go out and play with your kids too. Whether it's rough and tumble play or building a sand castle, a little time outside can go a long way.

Being outside is also good for overall health. It gives kids the opportunity to soak in some sunshine and Vitamin D.

What To Read Next
Get Local