Open Space >> By the Numbers
Statistics of Play
1 in 5: Children in the U.S. who live within walking
distance of a park or playground (Centers for Disease Control).
29: Percentage of increased incidence of childhood obesity
in neighborhoods without a park or playground.
5x: Likelihood of a child being a healthy weight if there is
a park or playground within a half mile, compared to children without a nearby
60: Minutes of daily physical activity recommended by the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for young people aged 6-17.
29: Percentage of U.S. high-school students who engaged in
60 or more minutes of physical activity on all seven days prior to being
surveyed (according to a 2011 CDC study).
7.5: Hours a day the average child aged 8 to 18 spends on
entertainment media. Due to media multitasking and using multiple forms of
media simultaneously, children actually pack in nearly 11 hours of media use
daily (Kaiser Family Foundation).
7: Percentage of U.S. children aged 6-11 years who were
obese in 1980.
20: Percentage of U.S. children aged 6-11 years who were
obese in 2008.
5: Percentage of U.S. adolescents aged 12-19 who were obese
18: Percentage of U.S. adolescents who were obese in 2008
12: Hours of free time U.S. children have lost per week
since the late 1970s, along with a 25 percent decrease in play and a 50 percent
decrease in unstructured outdoor activities (Juster).
15: Minutes of recess time needed to cause children to behave
better in class and learn more, according to a study of 11,000 third graders
(Barros, Silver, and Stein).
4 to 7: Minutes per day U.S. children devote to unstructured
outdoor play (Hofferth and Sandberg, Juster).
31: Percent of U.S. children who played outside daily in
70: Percent of children who played outside daily one
generation ago (Clements).