SEATTLE, Wash. - Seven hours in front of electronic entertainment and seven minutes outdoors. That's what constitutes "play" for most kids. This lack of outdoor activity is being cited as one reason for the increase in childhood obesity, in legislation just introduced in Congress.
The Moving Outdoors in Nature Act would encourage states to collaborate with communities, businesses and parents to increase outdoor activities. It's especially important in Washington State, where the economy is so tied to the Great Outdoors, according to Patrick Fitzgerald with the National Wildlife Federation.
"The decline we're seeing in hunting participation, that has an impact on the state agencies that sell hunting licenses and also on the companies that sell that equipment."
The National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and YMCA are supporting the legislation.
Fitzgerald, who directs education advocacy for the Federation, says the legislation is also about restoring balance to kids' lives.
"These state strategies could look at things like walking and biking to school, and look at the school system and after-school programs to see how we can have time for outdoor play and outdoor activities."