Amazing but true, a new study, published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, shows that kids who regularly play in outdoor green spaces have milder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms than those who play regularly indoors or in built outdoor environments. This study back up previous studies that show how kids majorly benefit from green spaces; i.e. spaces with plenty of grass and trees. For example, research posted by The Morton Arboretum shows that ADHD symptoms in children are relieved after contact with nature, asthma symptoms are reduced, and kids who play outdoors have less stress. Specifically, as related to ADHD, past research shows that kids experiencing ADHD can concentrate better, complete tasks better, and follow directions better after playing in a natural green space. Plus, the greener the setting, the more symptom relief.
Study authors, teaching associate Andrea Faber Taylor and natural resources and environmental sciences professor Frances (Ming) Kuo, say, “Although many children with ADHD are medicated, most would benefit from a low-cost, side-effect-free way of managing their symptoms.”
Although past research backs up this new study, a perk of this specific study is that the authors looked at long-term benefits of chronic nature exposure, and found that the more kids played outside, the more kids experienced ADHD relief. The researchers also found out that kids who experience a lot of hyperactivity even had milder ADHD symptoms if they regularly played in any sort of green and expansive environment (such as a large soccer field or lawn) vs. a typical nature setting, such as a forest. It makes sense. In this country the amount of time kids play outside has dwindled to almost none, while cases of hyperactivity continue to rise, so it’s not surprising that there would be a connection. Being outside, in nature, benefits all humans. If you’re not getting outside enough; if your kids are too hooked into the internet and television; it’s time to make a change. Check out the following posts for helpful tips about getting back to nature:
- Visit a local farm
- Start a garden
- Explore nature with your toddler
- Go bird watching
- Take a bike ride
- Have an outdoor adventure
Lead image ©hortongrou via sxc.