The science behind the call for more outdoor play

Human evolution happened outdoors!

Human development still needs the outdoors!

Over the very long history of human evolution, people spent most of their time outside. This means that we have evolved to be outside. The result has been that the processes that run our brain and body systems need outdoor experiences to function correctly.

For full and healthy development, humans (and children in particular) need access the outdoors.

Better out than in…

No carefully created indoor environment can adequately meet the real needs of children’s brains and bodies.

Indeed indoor environments can often provide unhealthy conditions, that in turn lead to behaviour difficulties and reduced learning. Not what we are wanting for our children!

In order for a human to become an expert in something, it is recognised that they must practice for 10,000 hours. If this is broken down over the first 10 years of a child’s life, they would need to practice for 3 hours a day, every day. It stands to reason then, that if a child is to become able to manage their feelings and behaviour, become physically competent, and develop their powers of thinking and learning, then they need to practice these outdoors for at least 3 hours a day.

By the age of 10 years, every child should be an expert in being, playing and learning outdoors!

Read on to find out more…

Natural light

Vitamin D

Immune system

Oxygen rich air


Sensory learning

Sensory development

Sensory integration


Healthy eyes

Being active



Thinking and learning