Outdoor Deprivation Syndrome
I was in the Passenger seat of my Mothers car driving through a neighbor hood that not too long ago (2-3 years) was busy and full of activity. Kids were running playing and smiling. but now, all I saw was grass, eerie playsets and no one outside.
I turned to my mom sand asked her where everyone was. she said probably inside. immediately i began to think... why would anyone be cooped up inside? especially on a day as beautiful as this? Why would they want to replace a day at the park for a day playing angry birds.
A few weeks later I went to the gym with my family. Instead of going to Zumba I decided that I would go volunteer at at the daycare and observe the kids. (Ok I know it sounds creepy but just hear me out ok?) While the younger children wanted to go outside and play, the older children merely wanted to remain inside and play on their technological devices. I noticed that creativity dwindled as age increased.
With lives revolving around technology at such a young age, as adults creativity will be lacking.
Is this what we want for the future of America? Overweight citizens, most lacking creativity?
We need to do something.... Maybe we all need to find Sasquatch.
Tiny Glowing Screens
we'll light the world with tiny glowing screens.
without buttons or cables or light bulbs.
she answered don't know then she pulled out her phone and walked away.
Technology is Taking Over
We are sleepwalking into disaster
Those machines are running much faster
Survellance will come unbound
Leaking surveys all around
Privacy will be no more
As machines will take over that chore
Emphasised on people
Wrongly accused on crime
It is not just a camera
On our streets
It's technology monitoring our movements
More and more information collected
We are leaving an electronic footprint
Can be seen as a broader exploration
Machines will take over civilization.....
And soon! ......
You're not high, I promise
I chose this video because it was better than the platypus one I almost put on here.
This video shows how getting outside can help boost your mood. That and I thought the claymation was pretty cool.
Outdoor Deprivation Syndrome
Outdoor Deprivation Syndrome
Most adults can remember walking to and from school, playing and hanging out outdoors, and having to be home by sundown. Unfortunately, Americans, ranging from children to young adults, have never experienced the freedom and do not know a time before computers. In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. The average American boy or girl spends as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen.("Health Benefits - National Wildlife Federation"). Being outdoors impacts not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well.
Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods (2005) and The Nature Principle (2011), came up with the term "nature-deficit disorder" to describe the loss of connection children increasingly feel with the natural world. Nature-deficit disorder is not a clinically recognized condition, he explains, but rather a term to evoke a loss of communion with other living things. Nevertheless, he argues, nature-deficit disorder affects "health and well-being, as well as many other areas, including [people's] ability to feel ultimately alive." (Howard). Louv said,"the human cost of "alienation from nature" was measured in "diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses"(Howard).
Nature-deficit disorder is caused by, loss of open space, busy schedules, an emphasis on organized team sports over individual play and exploration, competition from electronic media, and what Louv and others call a "culture of fear," in which people are afraid to visit natural areas or even go outside due to heavy media coverage of violent events(Howard).
Extracurriculars affect outside time, research shows that children are spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago – and much more time doing "inside" activities.(Thomas et al.)
NDD is not recognized as a medical condition because if it were to be medicalized people would probably say 'you'd better go to your doctor and take a pill(Black). "There's undoubtedly a phenomenon that's not good for health, which is about not giving access to outdoors or green space, safe risk-taking and so on," said David Pencheon, a medical doctor who now heads the National Health Service's sustainable development unit(Black). Being inside all the time could potentially lead to the following consequences in not only children but in adults as well-Myopia or nearsightedness,self harm, depression, obesity, mental health issues, and high blood pressure are all included.
Going outside affects the body. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, to 17 percent of children in this age group. The rate of clinically obese adolescents (aged 12-19) more than tripled, to 17.6 percent. The Centers for Disease Control concludes that a major missing component is an hour per day of moderate physical activity(CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Division of Adolescent and School Health).
Separation from the outdoors can even affect sleeping patterns, this causes sleep deprivation which leads to mental and developmental problems.Some reasons for sleep deprivation are plain to see; among these are increased amounts of homework, over booked schedules, and an addiction to electronics and social media. One reason for this chronic problem is relatively new is nearly a complete lack of consistent outdoor playtime(The Bangor Daily News). Today, kids are overstimulated by television, handheld games and other electronic devices. In order to get a good night’s sleep, youth need to have exposure to a natural sequence of light during the day, increased exposure to natural spaces , and exercise supplemented by outdoor play(The Bangor Daily News). The lighting indoors and outdoors is extremely different. Outdoor lighting is brighter and covers a broader spectrum of light. Exposure to outdoor light has been proven to improve sleep quality because it helps to regulate a persons internal clock “sleep clock.” Consistent exposure to bright natural helps people stay more alert throughout the day, elevates their moods and regulates melatonin production making it easier to sleep at night(The Bangor Daily News). In contrast there is evidence that the wrong light can be detrimental to ones health
In a study performed by the University of Connecticut it has been found that increased use of artificial lighting at night may disrupt sleep rhythms, by suppressing melatonin production. This encourages getting kids away from TV, computer and video games earlier in the evening. With the internal clock set due to some earlier outdoor play, melotonin production is regulated(The Bangor Daily News).
Effects of being outdoors on the mind are very beneficial, especially in children with AD/HD.
AD/HD affects about 7% of children. People that have it have difficulty paying attention as well as focusing on tasks, can be impulsive, prone to outbursts, and occasionally aggressive. These behaviors often lead to conflict within family, rejection by peers, and academic shortcomings. Current treatments, drugs and behavioral therapy, do not work in every case and in offer only limited relief in most. These research findings suggest adding trees and greenery where children spend a lot of time, such as near homes and schools, and encouraging children with AD/HD to play in green spaces may help supplement treatments to improve children’s functioning(Lhhl.illinois.edu).
In a study performed the University of Illinois, parents gave their children's symptoms a better rating , on average, after activities that took place in natural, green places than after activities in unnatural, non-green spaces. In the succeeding, nation-wide survey, parents again rated leisure activities, including reading and playing sports, as improving children’s symptoms more when performed in green outdoor settings than in non-green settings(Lhhl.illinois.edu).
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A more recent study tested children with AD/HD in a controlled setting after they had walked in one of three environments that differed from one another in the level of greenery: a park, a neighborhood, and a quiet downtown area. The results verified thatchildren with AD/HD pay attention better after spending time in more natural settings(Lhhl.illinois.edu).
Previous research has shown that brief exposure to green outdoor spaces -- and in one study, to photos of green settings -- can improve concentration and impulse control in children and adults in the general population -- individuals without ADHD. These findings led Taylor and Kuo to examine whether children diagnosed with ADHD, which is characterized by deficits in concentration and impulse control, might also benefit from "green time" (ScienceDaily). In a study published in 2004, they analyzed data from a national Internet-based survey of parents of children formally diagnosed with ADHD and found that activities conducted in greener outdoor settings did correlate with milder symptoms immediately afterward, compared to activities in other settings. The new study explores other data from the same survey to determine whether the effect also is true for green play settings that are routinely experienced -- the park, playground or backyard that a child visits daily or several times a week. "Before the current study, we were confident that acute exposures to nature -- sort of one-time doses -- have short-term impacts on ADHD symptoms," Kuo said. "The question is, if you're getting chronic exposure, but it's the same old stuff because it's in your backyard or it's the playground at your school, then does that help?" To address this question, the researchers examined parents' descriptions of their child's daily play setting and overall symptom severity. They also looked at the children's age, sex, formal diagnosis (ADD or ADHD) and total household income. The analyses revealed an association between routine play in green, outdoor settings and milder ADHD symptoms."On the whole, the green settings were related to milder overall symptoms than either the 'built outdoors' or 'indoors' settings," Taylor said. The researchers also found that children who were high in hyperactivity (diagnosed with ADHD rather than ADD) tended to have milder symptoms if they regularly played in a green and open environment (such as a soccer field or expansive lawn) rather than in a green space with lots of trees or an indoor or built outdoor setting.The researchers found no significant differences between boys and girls or income groups in terms of the relationship between the greenness of play settings and overall symptom severity(ScienceDaily).
In conclusion, children, as well as parents, would greatly benefit from spending time outdoors. Relationships between piers, kids and their parents, students and teachers would greatly improve. Immediate health problems as well as health problems later in life could be delayed or completely avoided. Grades would go up as high blood pressure and juvenile obesity rates decrease. Kids would be calmer, more focused, more creative, and all together happier. In children with AD/HD being outdoors would lessen their symptoms therefore brightening their future.
The video above shows just how grave the situation is. Now, technology is very helpful but, it can be detrimental, especially to children. Today, kids are overstimulated by television, handheld games and other electronic devices. In order to get a good night’s sleep, youth need to have exposure to a natural sequence of light during the day, increased exposure to natural spaces , and exercise supplemented by outdoor play.
What we fail to see is that children are losing a very important part of their childhood, playtime.
The advances we have made are good at times but at the same time they are bad. Children don't go outside anymore. We as a society blame this on parents and children but in reality, the problem lies in the fact that there is not easy access to green spaces.
Green spaces are exactly what they sound like, areas that are "green", meaning there are a lot of plants or greenery.
We can battle all the health issues caused by lack of access to nature by installing green spaces in public areas.