One Third Of UK Children Spend Less Time Outdoors Than US Prison Inmates

One Third Of UK Children Spend Less Time Outdoors Than US Prison Inmates:

Over the course of his campaign, Bernie Sanders has made it clear that criminal justice reform is something he cares quite a lot about.

“I consider reforming our criminal justice system one of the most important things that a president of the United States can do,” the Vermont senator told a Chicago crowd in December. Sanders has called the incarceration rate in America “an international embarrassment,” and earlier this month, he said the following during a debate with Hillary Clinton:

Where we are right now, is having more than 2.2 million people in jail — more than any other country on Earth. This is a campaign promise: At the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country.”

Given the high rate of incarceration in the US, it’s important that Americans don’t take their freedom for granted because, well, because the government won’t hesitate to throw you in jail. Once there, UN guidelines only require that you get to breathe fresh air for one hour a day – the standard minimum guidelines call for “at least one hour of suitable exercise in open air daily.”

You can believe that inmates cherish that hour and you can imagine how shocked the residents of Indiana’s Wabash maximum security prison were to find out from researchers that one third of all children aged 5 to 12 in the UK play outdoors for less than 30 minutes each day, while a fifth of parents surveyed said their children don’t go outside at all.

“Outdoor play isn’t happening,” the “Dirt Is Good” initiative found in a survey of 12,000 parents. “Almost a third of children play outside for 30 minutes or less a day and one in five don’t plan outside at all on an average day.” Watch below as inmates react to the study.

So what are kids in the UK doing instead? Why, staring at screens of course. “Children spend twice as much time on screens inside as they do playing outside,” the same study found.

But it’s not all bad news. Children in the UK are far more likely to be able to make up for lost time outdoors later in life than are kids in the US. The incarceration rate in the UK is around five times lower than it is in America.

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