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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 6455-6474; doi:10.3390/ijerph120606455

What Is the Relationship between Outdoor Time and Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Physical Fitness in Children? A Systematic Review

1
Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
2
School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada
3
Department of Physical Education and Health, Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education, Thrond Nergaards Vei 7, NO-7044 Trondheim, Norway
4
Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, 64 Hatt Street, Dundas, ON L9H 7T6, Canada
5
British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit, Child & Family Research Institute, British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, F511-4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada
6
Department of Pediatrics, School of Population & Public Health, British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, F511-4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada
7
Evaluation Platform on Obesity Prevention, Quebec Heart and Lung Research Institute, Laval University, 2725 Chemin Ste-Foy, Local Y4283, Quebec, QC G1V 4G5, Canada
8
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia, 379-2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC B6T 1Z4, Canada
9
School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, 99 University Avenue, Kingston, ON K7L 2P5, Canada
10
Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen's University, Carruthers Hall, Kingston, ON K7L 2P5, Canada
11
Forest School Canada, 411 Corkstown Road, Ottawa, ON K2K 2Y1, Canada
12
Department of Environmental Studies, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University, 416 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA
13
Library Services, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
14
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 16 March 2015 / Revised: 14 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 8 June 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [722 KB, uploaded 8 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

The objective of this systematic review was to examine the relationship between outdoor time and: (1) physical activity, (2) cardiorespiratory fitness, (3) musculoskeletal fitness, (4) sedentary behaviour; or (5) motor skill development in children aged 3–12 years. We identified 28 relevant studies that were assessed for quality using the GRADE framework. The systematic review revealed overall positive effects of outdoor time on physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and cardiorespiratory fitness, although causality could not be assumed due to a lack of RCTs. Motor skill development was unrelated to outdoor time; however, this relationship was only examined in a single study of preschool children. No studies were found that examined associations between outdoor time and musculoskeletal fitness.
Keywords: outdoor time; physical activity; sedentary behaviour; cardiorespiratory fitness; musculoskeletal fitness; motor skill development; children outdoor time; physical activity; sedentary behaviour; cardiorespiratory fitness; musculoskeletal fitness; motor skill development; children
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gray, C.; Gibbons, R.; Larouche, R.; Sandseter, E.B.H.; Bienenstock, A.; Brussoni, M.; Chabot, G.; Herrington, S.; Janssen, I.; Pickett, W.; Power, M.; Stanger, N.; Sampson, M.; Tremblay, M.S. What Is the Relationship between Outdoor Time and Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Physical Fitness in Children? A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 6455-6474.

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