Marguerite Hunter Blair, chief executive of Play Scotland

We know that play, and particularly outdoor play, is fundamental to healthy child development and fosters children’s well-being, healthy growth and development, knowledge and understanding, creativity and capacity to learn.

A recent study found that less than half (48 per cent) of 13 to 15-year-olds play outside, a significant decline on their counterparts from 30 years ago, where 87 per cent of people surveyed said they played outside regularly at the same age.

This survey echoes findings of a study that Play Scotland did earlier this year, where parents reported that they were unhappy with the amount of time they had to play with their children.

It is concerning that children and young people are more sedentary and less active due to being indoors more.

Parents are more fearful nowadays and their children are less likely to get the freedom previous generations enjoyed.

The way children and young people spend their time has changed significantly over the last thirty years, with a reduction in the time spent playing outdoors, a massive contraction in their independent mobility and a huge increase in screen-based entertainment.

This makes it all the more important for us as parents, families, and professionals to provide play-centred environments, and to enable our children to use them.

Play irrefutably contributes to flagship public policies in Scotland such as improving attainment, health and reducing inequality.

But access to play is not equally distributed in Scotland. Challenges faced by children – poverty, disadvantage or disability discrimination – intersect with and compound inequality of opportunity (McKendrick, 2016).

We know that play can easily meet the big challenge of our time - increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour, but children and young people need permission, time and space to play for this to be possible.

Play Scotland is asking people to become Play Champions for more places to play, better access for all to play spaces, more street play, and more tolerant attitudes to children and young people playing outdoors. Join the campaign to #playeveryday