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Children play in a Toronto park on July 30, 2014.DARREN CALABRESE/The Globe and Mail

A new Canadian study suggests there could be added health benefits for kids who play outdoors on their own or with their friends.

Researchers analyzed data from a survey of more than 1,000 parents of Grade 5 and 6 students at 16 public schools across Toronto.

Kids had to wear an activity measurement unit for seven days and parents were asked to self-report how often they allowed their kids to go out on their own.

And about 35 per cent of parents polled never let their kids to go out solo.

Kids who were allowed some time out to explore on their own or with friends were more physically active than kids who were always supervised.

Study lead author Raktim Mitra says kids have more opportunities to walk or play when they're out on their own or with friends.

Mitra says when kids are with their parents they're often driven to different activities and don't have the same chances for spontaneous play.

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