Overcoming the Nature Deficit Disorder

Someone sent me this at work – the World Future Society’s annual top 10 forecasts. It’s a short, punchy and provocative piece, well worth a read.

As a parent, I was particularly struck by #4:

“Children’s ‘nature deficit disorder’ will grow as a health threat. Children today are spending less time in direct contact with nature than did previous generations. The impacts are showing up not only in their lack of physical fitness, but also in the growing prevalence of hyperactivity and attention deficit. Studies show that immersing children in outdoor settings – away from television and video games – fosters more creative mental activity and concentration.”

Living in a city-state like Singapore, we face a double whammy. TV and video games aside, most of us live in apartments and are surrounded by more buildings than trees.

Nature isn’t second nature, but we can make it so. We still have enough parks and open spaces to call our own. It’s just a matter of overcoming the mental hurdle that it’s easier to just stay indoors. So get a ball, a frisbee, a picnic basket, and venture outside!

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6 responses to “Overcoming the Nature Deficit Disorder

  1. Hello there, come to know of your blog from the motherhood forum. Just realised your son is born on the same day of me…..heehee….first time i come across someone with the same birthday as me, always one day earlier or one day later, never the same day!

  2. Hi there, thanks for visiting! I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned my kids’ birthdays but anyway…. do drop by again!

  3. Hi PP–interesting post and I think more parents should consider what you are saying.

    For me, taking my daughter to the park (where there is a lake, geese, wonderful trees, etc.) is simply part of her learning process.

    She loves to go and I can’t quantify the impact on her, but the experience of changing environments is necessary.

    Thank you for this thoughtful post!

  4. Hi Pilgrim Parent, thanks for the link! Like you said, it is really worth a read! It is true, going out into the outdoors take effort for the first step, but once one is with nature, it’s the best place. Calming, spacious, refreshing. Each time I hang out in the park with my daughter, I feel as if a gush or air in my head. šŸ™‚ It’s easy to feel happy, too. šŸ™‚ Your post serves as a reminder! Many thanks!

  5. Pingback: More On The Nature Deficit Disorder « Pilgrim Parent

  6. Pingback: Want to prevent myopia? Head outdoors. « Pilgrim Parent

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