Nature Deficit Disorder

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Nature Deficit Disorder is a term coined by Richard Louv, in his book Last Child in the Woods published in 2005. The basic premise is that kids’ freelance outdoor activities have been replaced by time spent on computers and playing organized sports. Louv believes that outdoor playtime has a positive affect on behavior as children are less likely to get sick, act aggressively or become depressed. Furthermore, free time in the natural environment promotes creativity, heightens the senses and feeds exploration. It also helps to combat obesity.
Many parents themselves are disconnected from nature. This condition as well as fear of criminal elements has kept children inside.

Nature Deficit Disorder is not a medical disorder; it is a social trend. There are options for parents to get their kids outside ranging from Forest Schooling to The Boys and Girls Scouts of America. Or there is always the public park.

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One Response to Nature Deficit Disorder

  1. jnmllr says:

    “Awww, Mom…. Can’t we just look at some trees on TV?!! Why do we have to go outside? There’s nothing to do there….”

    If the impulse to be outdoors, and to reap some benefit from contact with ‘nature’, has atrophied to such an extent that social programs arise in response to this infirmity, it will take more than a walk in the woods to change things. But what will it take? I’m going to think about that for a good long time on my next walk in the woods.

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