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Outdoor play keeps the doctor away

Turn off the TV, grab the kids and send them outside for some playtime.

That’s the main message Ian Janssen (Kinesiology and Health Studies) will deliver on April 13 at the second annual Queen’s University Heart and Stroke Foundation Lecture Series.

Researcher Ian Janssen is encouraging children to get outside and play. -Lars Hagberg

“My talk will provide an overview of why physical activity and outdoor active play are vital for a child’s health,” he says. “I will also discuss the barriers to getting children outside more, including fears that outdoor play is dangerous, and a lack of recognition that unstructured activities, like play, are important for healthy growth and development.”

Dr.  Janssen, the Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity, focuses his research on giving children the best start for a long and healthy life. During his lecture, Dr. Janssen will also discuss new research that he is undertaking thanks to generous funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Queen’s University Heart and Stroke Foundation Lecture Series
Monday, April 13, 4:30 pm
Queen’s Medicine Building (15 Arch St.) in the Britton Smith Foundation Lecture Hall.
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

“As part of this study we are developing a new technique to measure active play in an objective way.  This technique relies on motion sensors to measure physical activity and global positioning system loggers to measure where the children are when they are getting their activity,” he says. “Using this new technique we will be able to assess, for the first time, how much active play children get and the places they get this play.”

The annual lecture series highlights Queen’s researchers receiving funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Using research grants from the foundation, Dr. Janssen and his team are addressing a number of health issues. They are working to understand more about the sedentary behaviours children should avoid, the types of physical activity children need for good health, and the features of a child’s physical and social environment that promote physical activity and healthy eating.