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Sun May 12, 2013, 01:46 AM

What are you doing to cure or prevent

Nature deficit disorder?

Pediatricians nowadays see fewer kids with broken bones from climbing trees and more children with longer-lasting repetitive-stress injuries, which are related to playing video games and typing at keyboards. Indoors is in. Outdoors is out as in, out of favor with kids. "I like to play indoors better, because that's where all the electrical outlets are," said a fourth-grader quoted in the book Last Child in the Woods, in which author Richard Louv coins the term "nature deficit disorder."

What is nature deficit disorder? It's not a medical term, but a social trend. The term describes "the human costs of alienation from nature, among them diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illness," Louv explains. We're raising the very first generation of Americans to grow up disconnected with nature, he says, and this broken relationship is making kids overweight, depressed and distracted.

Society inadvertently teaches children to fear the outdoors, where there's traffic, nature and strangers, and feel safest inside (where, unfortunately, air quality can be 10 times worse, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Maybe you remember playing outdoors with friends from dawn to dusk on summer weekends several blocks away from home when you were young. By 1990, according to one study, the radius of play around a house for a nine-year-old had shrunk to one-ninth of what it was 20 years earlier. Louv pointed to a recent UCLA report showing that American kids now spend virtually no time in their own yards.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/definitions/nature-deficit-disorder
http://www.education.com/topic/nature-deficit-disorder/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_deficit_disorder

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Reply What are you doing to cure or prevent (Original post)
gejohnston May 2013 OP
X_Digger May 2013 #1
Eleanors38 May 2013 #2
yawnmaster Feb 2014 #3

Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2013, 11:59 AM

1. That's sad.

On summer mornings, my mom kicked us out of the house after breakfast, and didn't expect to see us inside (except for lunch) until 6pm for dinner. After that, it was back outside (with a liberal coating of 'off') until 'tick check' at bedtime.

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Sun May 12, 2013, 02:07 PM

2. I read Louv's book a few years back, I hope it continues to influence policy favorably.

 

It seems common for parents to hold nature as theatening and dangerous, something to be avoided. It seems a throwback to a pre-Awakening time that saw nature as savage as well. If kids share this view, they will become the new (non) constituency for the outdoors. I try to support efforts which get people into the woods.

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Response to gejohnston (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 03:35 PM

3. getting out is required for good health. Trying to teach my kids that...

In addition to the beauty, the diversity, the fresh air, and hiking, contact with dirt at a young age probably helps their immune systems later in life.

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