Living a healthy lifestyle includes eating nutritious meals, getting enough exercise, and spending time outdoors. However, studies have shown that most American families are spending a shocking amount of time indoors and staring at their gadget screens. One report has revealed that adults spend about 10 hours and 39 minutes each day on social media, while children between the ages of eight and 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day using a digital device. Too much screen time and inactivity can lead to health problems, and it can even have a negative impact on our relationships. In order to stay healthy and have stronger bonds, families have to spend some quality time away from technology, and one way to do it is by heading outdoors.
The effects of technology on health and family relationships
According to the CDC, too much screen time and lack of physical activity have been linked to obesity. Currently, more than one-third of US adults have obesity, while one in five schoolchildren are obese. Spending too much time using gadgets or constantly being on social media can also have a negative impact on family life. Children who are too absorbed in playing video games or texting are less likely to communicate with their parents. Meanwhile, parents who are too wrapped up in posting social media updates, checking email, or talking on their mobile phones also spend less time talking to their children.
If this scenario reflects your own family life, don’t despair—you can remedy this by making a dedicated space in your home for technology-free bonding. Your lawn or backyard is the perfect place for this, and here are a few tips to create an outdoor space that your family will love.
Create some shade
Most people dislike being outdoors because of the heat. You can fix this by creating a shaded sitting area in your lawn or backyard. To shield your family from the sun and rain, choose any of the most popular patio covers to protect your loved ones from the elements. Take your pick from canopies, sail shades, or pavilions—each one has different features that will suit your needs and desired aesthetic.
Add comfortable furniture
Your sitting area should have comfortable furniture that will enable your family to spend more time outdoors. All-weather wicker patio furniture gives your sitting area a classic look, and adding a few outdoor cushions can make your outdoor space more inviting. To create more lounging space, spread an all-weather woven mat on your patio to cushion bare feet and make your outdoor space irresistible to young children.
Decorate with greens and DIY projects
Place a few potted plants around your sitting area, and make sure to have a mix of greens and flowering plants. Potted succulents work well in an outdoor sitting area and require minimal attention. You can also decorate your space with a few DIY projects such as a birdhouse or solar light lanterns.
Hang a hammock
Most adults and children love to spend time relaxing in a hammock. Place a small table beside the hammock where you and your family can put books, drinks, or other items that you need as you enjoy a little quiet time.
These are just a few ways to make your outdoor space a hit with your family. Follow these tips to create a space that your family will enjoy for years.