Timberland Creates More Green Spaces in Five European Cities
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Numerous studies indicate that a growing number of children in Europe are feeling disconnected to nature. A new study in The British Journal of Sports Medicine says that children are living a sedentary lifestyle and are not physically active enough from the time they start school. It’s recommended that children should get at least an hour of exercise a day, yet the 400 children enrolled in this study did less than this as they got older.
The researchers tracked the activity levels of the children over eight years using monitors worn for a week at a time. The amount of exercise the children did was measured at age seven and then again at age nine, 12 and 15. On average, boys spent 75 minutes a day exercising when they were seven, falling to 51 minutes when they were 15. While the average girl spent 63 minutes per day doing moderate to strenuous physical activity when seven years old, which fell to 41 minutes aged 15.
We know that being outside and able to play in greenspaces is important for children and teenagers. That’s why Timberland is committed to protecting and restoring the outdoors—not just the great outdoors, but city parks, community gardens and green spaces. This outdoor lifestyle brand has announced the first 14 winners of its ‘My PlayGreen’. Starting in London, 14 projects have been awarded grants. It’s a five-year program supporting access to trees and greenspaces for children and teenagers across five of Europe’s largest cities: London, Milan, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona. Each grassroots project will get a grant up to £5000.
Today, 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. Europe is currently home to 14% of the world’s urban population. Therefore, limited access to wilderness and the lack of exposure to the natural world may result in a series of disorders for those living in urban and sub-urban areas, especially children. Research shows that children who lack access to green spaces can develop health issues as well as behavioral problems, such as attention-deficit and emotional disorders.
Timberland believes that with early exposure to nature, children are more likely to grow themselves into future ‘Earthkeepers.’ Plus, open spaces will help young people to be more physically active, with direct physical health benefits such as reductions in obesity. To do put all these positives into action, Timberland has teamed up with the King Baudouin Foundation to support the creation, maintenance or improvement of greenspaces in the five European cities.
It's up to all of us to ensure children get their recommended one hour of physical activity a day and to get children moving. To be able to keep children active outside of school, we need more green spaces like the ones that Timberland is creating.