Next Article in Journal
Environmental Asthma Reduction Potential Estimates for Selected Mitigation Actions in Finland Using a Life Table Approach
Previous Article in Journal
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(6), 6475-6505; doi:10.3390/ijerph120606475

Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play

1,2,3,* , 1
10,†, 11,†
1 Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L1, Canada 2 Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L1, Canada 3 School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, 125 University Private, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 1A2, Canada 4 KidActive, 559A, Burtron Lane, Combermere, Ontario, K0J 1L0, Canada 5 ParticipACTION, 77 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1M2, Canada 6 Canadian Parks Council, 455 Hunter Street West, Peterborough, Ontario, K9H 2M7, Canada 7 Evaluation Platform on Obesity Prevention, Quebec Heart and Lung Research Institute, Laval University, 2725 Chemin Ste-Foy, Québec City, Québec, G1V 4G5, Canada 8 Best Start Resource Centre—Health Nexus, 180 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1Z8, Canada 9 PHE Canada, 301-2197 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 7X3, Canada 10 Evergreen, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3X8, Canada 11 School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia, 379-2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, B6T 1Z4, Canada 12 Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, 99 University Avenue, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 2P5, Canada 13 Department of Public Health Sciences, Carruthers Hall, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 2P5, Canada 14 Forest School Canada, Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, 411 Corkstown Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K2K 2Y1, Canada 15 Department of Physical Education and Health, College of Early Childhood Education, Queen Maud University, Thrond Nergaardsvei 7, NO-7044 Trondheim, Norway 16 PLAYbynature, 226 Albany Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 3C6, Canada 17 British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit, Department of Pediatrics, School of Population & Public Health, Child & Family Research Institute, British Columbia Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, , F511-4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6H 3V4, Canada These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William Toscano
Received: 22 April 2015 / Revised: 22 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 8 June 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [757 KB, uploaded 8 June 2015]


A diverse, cross-sectorial group of partners, stakeholders and researchers, collaborated to develop an evidence-informed Position Statement on active outdoor play for children aged 3–12 years. The Position Statement was created in response to practitioner, academic, legal, insurance and public debate, dialogue and disagreement on the relative benefits and harms of active (including risky) outdoor play. The Position Statement development process was informed by two systematic reviews, a critical appraisal of the current literature and existing position statements, engagement of research experts (N = 9) and cross-sectorial individuals/organizations (N = 17), and an extensive stakeholder consultation process (N = 1908). More than 95% of the stakeholders consulted strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the Position Statement; 14/17 participating individuals/organizations endorsed it; and over 1000 additional individuals and organizations requested their name be listed as a supporter. The final Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play states: “Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks— is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.” The full Position Statement provides context for the statement, evidence supporting it, and a series of recommendations to increase active outdoor play opportunities to promote healthy child development.
Keywords: physical activity; health promotion; risk taking; safety; injury; playground physical activity; health promotion; risk taking; safety; injury; playground
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary materials


Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Tremblay, M.S.; Gray, C.; Babcock, S.; Barnes, J.; Bradstreet, C.C.; Carr, D.; Chabot, G.; Choquette, L.; Chorney, D.; Collyer, C.; Herrington, S.; Janson, K.; Janssen, I.; Larouche, R.; Pickett, W.; Power, M.; Sandseter, E.B.H.; Simon, B.; Brussoni, M. Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 6475-6505.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert