Why is playing outside good for your health?

Outdoor activities are not only enjoyable, they also have many benefits for all age groups. Undertaking outdoor recreation is a proven way to improve your physical and mental health and promotes social interaction – for both adults and children alike. It’s also a great way for children to learn new skills and develop coordination. Discover more about the benefits of playing outside as Bloom discusses this topic in more depth.

The benefits of outdoor activities for children

Why is playing outside good for your health if you’re a child? That’s quite easy to answer. Outdoor play, like running and chasing, jumping and climbing is not only a great way to allow children to use up all that excitable energy. There are countless advantages that assist with their physical, mental and emotional development. Some of the benefits of outdoor play include the following:

    1. Intellectual. That’s right – children don’t just learn inside a classroom with an organised learning activity. Unstructured outdoor play aids brain development as children learn problem-solving and decision-making skills. They also develop their imagination through individual and cooperative play. Outdoor activities are a good place for children to practice and improve their interpersonal skills and form relationships without parental supervision. Many children will grow independent and develop personal interests in new topics and activities. Some children may enjoy complicated activities in the jungle gym, for instance, while others may prefer a robust bike ride.


    1. Emotional. Along with the intellectual benefits of outdoor play, are the emotional benefits, where children are afforded the opportunity to use all their senses, unlike screentime which only allows for vision and auditory interaction. Outdoor play allows children to experiment with the full range of sensory experiences. It also promotes independence and self-confidence as they explore new settings and discover their own improved capabilities.
      Outdoor play is an important way for children to learn self-reflection. This skill is the way in which we learn how to cope with life’s stressors. Unstructured outdoor play involves decisions, which lead to successes and failures. Once children can look back on these, they will soon determine what sort of behaviour is favourable and what they would rather avoid. It’s also a good way for children to learn how to control their emotions. Sometimes it’s advantageous to push the limits of our comfort zone and experience difficulty. Many types of outdoor activities teach children new lessons by asking them to take risks. The positive outcome helps build resilience and allows them a means of coping with their fears.


  1. Physical. A child’s physical development is dependent on time spent playing outside, especially during their nursery school and primary school years. By playing outside, a child develops motor skills, agility, balance and coordination. This is because they can exercise their bodies’ muscles and bones by testing their own personal endurance. It’s highly recommended that children are encouraged to participate in organised sports activities – like cricket, soccer, swimming or tennis.
    Another good reason to highlight the importance of outdoor play is that it’s a proven way to prevent childhood obesity. The Health Sciences Research Council recently undertook a National Health Nutrition Survey, which found that a shocking number of South African children between the ages of 2 to 14 years were either overweight or obese. Children who are able to burn off calories, generally have a healthy body mass index compared to their counterparts who spend most of their time indoors indulging in extended screentime. Discover more about the Reasons why a healthy eating plan is so good for children.

The benefits of outdoor activities for adults

Why is playing outside good for your health if you’re an adult? The great outdoors isn’t just for children. Experts agree that there are several advantages to enjoying outdoor activities, some of which include the following:

    1. Physical benefits of outdoor activities. Lower your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, arthritis and osteoporosis with some outdoor time. It’s recommended that adults commit to doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. This can help burn off the calories and unwanted fat, which will help you maintain your ideal body weight. Try going on a brisk walk or riding a bicycle. In addition, 5-15 minutes per day is all the time you need to get your daily dose of vitamin D. This is important because vitamin D will boost your immune system.


    1. Social benefits of outdoor activities. People are social by nature and getting out and about is a great way to meet some like-minded people and start new hobbies. It’s also a great way to build community spirit and learn new skills, like auditory awareness, and physical movement. Do some research to find out what appeals to you, like a hiking or running club or birdwatching.


  1. Emotional and mental health benefits of outdoor activities. Undertaking outdoor activities is a great way to improve your overall well-being. This is because physical exercise relieves tension and stress by releasing endorphins. It also relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Some studies have found that outdoor activities can help reduce the levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, in one’s body. Commit to 20 minutes of outdoor activities each day to reduce stress, anxiety or depression.

Build healthier minds and bodies with outdoor activities

Why is playing outside good for your health? The benefits are clear. Outdoor play for children and outdoor activities for adults improve our physical health, mental well-being and intellect. Bloom encourages healthy living, which means making time to enjoy the outdoors and reap the benefits. What’s more, get health insurance cover for you and your family to ensure your good health should you ever require medical services. Contact our office to discuss your health insurance options with a trained consultant.

Medical Content Disclaimer

You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom Financial Services website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.

Your journey to quality healthcare starts here.

Health Insurance

Health4Me Bronze

Health4Me Silver

Health4Me Gold

Gap Cover

Gap Core

Gap Max


About Bloom

Frequently Asked Questions


Contact Us

Momentum Health4Me is not a medical scheme product, and is not a substitute for medical scheme membership. The information provided on this website does not constitute advice in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. Momentum is a division of Momentum Metropolitan Life Limited, an authorised financial services provider (FSP 6406) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited.

Bloom Gap Cover is not a medical Scheme. Products that are offered are not the same as that of a medical scheme.

© Bloom Financial Services 2023. Bloom Financial Services (Pty) Ltd is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 50140). Bloom Gap is underwritten by Infiniti Insurance Limited a licensed non-life insurer and an authorised financial services provider (FSP No.35914)

Privacy Policy