Away from the home, playgrounds are the most popular place for outdoor play. The API campaigns for the provision of high-quality play facilities so that every child in the UK has access to a safe, local, free-to-access play space. Outdoor play has a vital role in tackling the nation’s physical inactivity epidemic, childhood obesity and record levels of children’s mental health problems.
Our latest campaign is based on new research which shows that children’s access to public play areas is unequal and unfair. Some areas of the UK have almost five times the number of children per playground as others. Children’s opportunities to play outdoors are a postcode lottery.
Our survey of over 1100 parents showed that they are worried about the shift from outdoor play to indoor screen time and the vast majority say that playgrounds are vital in getting children outdoors and active again.
Our research report showed, for the first time, a strong link between recreational screen time and children’s inactivity. Children are choosing to spend their free hours on screens instead of playing outside.
Our research uncovered an alarming decline in play provision with hundreds of playgrounds set to close. Local authorities cited lack of budget to maintain, repair or replace equipment as reasons for the closures.