Apr 23, 2020
“Enough playing, start studying” is a phrase everyone hears through their life. Countless games and races have been stopped to the call of our parents dragging us back into the no play zone much earlier than they had promised. This is especially true in the case of teenagers who are caught in the precarious position between childhood and adulthood.
However, research suggests that the extra time playing as opposed to grudgingly sitting on the desk is actually beneficial for academic performance and much more. Harvard Health published a research report on the same and urged people to not miss out on play-time to increase academic performance.
“All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention” Joline Godfrey
While there are many reasons why children must be allowed to play more, here are the top 3 reasons:
1.Play teaches you 21st-century skills:
Play makes anyone more open to coordination as it fosters teamwork and promotes self-confidence. It allows for individual talent to be showcased.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are considered as two of the world’s best football players - not just of the current generation but of all times. The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry is considered as a rivalry between two nations. But what if both the players played for the same team or a club? Would they be able to play in harmony, together?
Ariedo Braida, the former director of the Barcelona Football club says yes. While most would think having two exceptional strikers in the same football team would result in unhealthy competition, according to Ariedo Braida, magically the players can work in unison towards a common goal.
Playing a sport can teach you to be part of something bigger than oneself. In fact, according to Stanford , one of the most prestigious universities in the world, believes playing a sport greatly helps a person be future-ready! Read along to know more about this!
2. Play improves mental well being.
Recent years have witnessed a rapid increase in mental health problems among young adults such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse and increase in suicides. This parallels a sharp erosion of time young adults spend playing, thanks to academic pressures they face.
Apart from imparting imperative skillsets, physical activity is proven to boost mental health. Playing results in the production of brain-boosting chemicals called dopamine and serotonin that promotes happiness and productivity. Physical exercise has mood-enhancing properties and as the old adage goes, a healthy body equals a healthy mind
So the next time you see your teenager feeling down or lethargic, engage them in a brisk walk/jog and you will see the difference for yourself!
3. Play boosts academic performance:
Fancy that! Available evidence suggests that mathematics and reading are the academic topics that are most influenced by physical activity. These topics depend on efficient and effective executive function, which has been linked to physical activity and physical fitness.
According to Professor Ian Henry, Director of the Centre for Olympic Studies and Research , although the pressures on elite sportspeople are high, many actually respond well to additional demands, such as studying for a degree. Who would have thought playing a sport would actually improve your cognition, mathematical capabilities and English. We lived in an era where playtime was cut 1 month prior to any exams, if only we had known the benefits of play before!
So that’s it, 3 amazing reasons why you should be allowing your children to be playing everyday. Can you think of other reasons why children, especially teenagers must spend more time playing? Do share your thoughts in the comments!