A global survey conducted on children’s time outdoors quickly became an ongoing campaign called “Dirt is Good” after the findings showed a concerning lack of outdoor playtime among children aged five to twelve. The results of the survey, commissioned by British laundry company Persil and conducted by an independent market research firm, revealed ⅓ of British children spend 30 minutes or less outside every day — and that one in five does not play outside at all on an average day. The researchers surveyed 12,000 parents spanning 10 countries: the United States, Brazil, U.K., Turkey, Portugal, South Africa, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and India.
The Dirt is Good initiative was founded based on the survey, and the short film of the same name, which features interviews with inmates, reports that “on average, children now spend less time outdoors than a prison inmate.” According to Dirt is Good, inmates receive at least two hours of time outside every day while most children enjoy an hour or less.
The inmates interviewed in the short film expressed the importance of their outdoor time.
“I think it’s probably the most important part of my day,” one inmate says. It “keeps my mind right, keeps my body strong,” another explains. Yet another calls his time outside “pretty much the highlight of my day.”