EyesightChildren who regularly spend time outside may be less likely than their peers to develop nearsightedness, according to recent research reported in the journal Optometry and Vision Science. Participating children who spent more time outside during the day tended to have better distance vision than those who favored indoor activities.

Classroom PreparednessNWF's report TIME OUT: Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance highlights vast research linking time kids spend outside to increased classroom preparedness. America's increasingly indoor lifestyle causes several factors that work against high performance in the classroom. Lack of unstructured playtime outdoors for some children leads to:???Shorter Attention Spans???Increased Aggressive Behavior???Higher Stress and DepressionNational Wildlife Federation, participants, and partners today express their support of the benefits of outdoor play, and urge Dr. Benjamin to issue a clarion call to reconnect children with outdoor physical activity and good health.

Michael Rich, M.D., M.P.H., said today:

"As a physician, child health researcher, and parent, I am concerned that excessive media exposure can exacerbate children's risk for obesity, anxiety, violence, risky sex, smoking, and substance abuse. The natural world is an inextricable part of who we are, as individuals and as Americans. When children are immersed in the virtual world, they are denied a connection that is not only vital to their physical, mental, and social health, but to their imagination, their identity, and their souls."

Dr. Rich is the Director of the Center on Media and Child Health, Children's Hospital Boston; Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor at Harvard School of Public Health.

NWF invites you to make the 2010 Be Out There Resolution to spend more time outside in the New Year. Every parent and family that takes the pledge will receive the Know, Go, and Grow Be Out There Toolkit with important facts, fun tips, and interactive tools to help stick to the resolution. Visit www.beoutthere/resolution.

National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. NWF's Be Out There campaign encourages families across America to get outside on a daily basis to improve their physical and mental health. The benefits of outdoor play are real: healthier kids with a life-long appreciation of wildlife and nature.

SOURCE National Wildlife Federation