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Do you sometimes get anxious? Do you sometimes feel depressed? Maybe you’re having trouble paying attention. If you answered “Yes” to any of these, then you might be suffering from Nature-Deficit Disorder. (NO, I’m not making this up.) Nature-Deficit Disorder is a very real issue with adults and children today, and maybe we should start paying more attention to it. Let me give you a few facts about NDD.
If you’re like me, you probably have never heard of Nature-Deficit Disorder or NDD. While doing research on my last blog, Kids, Smartphones, and Nature, I ran across an article on the Children & Nature Network about this condition called Nature-Deficit Disorder. I found it very interesting. I’m sure you will too. I want to tell you some of the causes, symptoms, and, yes, I’ll even give you the simple remedy to rid yourself of this little-known disorder. But first, let me tell you about how the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder” came about.
Author Richard Louv introduced the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder” in 2005 with the publication of his best-selling book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” He coined the phrase to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. Nature-Deficit Disorder is the idea that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors and the belief that this change causes a wide range of health issues. It's not a recognized medical condition. Maybe it should be. Concerns about its effects on our mental and physical health are beginning to get a lot of attention.
Check out these statistics
81% of adults and 88% of children use a computer daily.
Youths average 8 hours a day on electronic media and teens up to 12 hours.
69% of adults and 36% of youths are overweight, and this number is rising.
70% of children are Vitamin D deficient from lack of sunlight.
50% of preschoolers are never taken outside for play.
Do these numbers disturb you? They should.
According to Richard Louv, these stats can be somewhat contributed to Nature-Deficit Disorder, and after reading several articles on NDD I have to say, I agree.
Right about now, I’m sure you're thinking to yourself. “Holy Crap!! Do I have Nature-Deficit Disorder?” Here is a list of just a few of the symptoms of NDD.
Diminished use of the senses
Higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses
Myopia, or not being able to see objects at a distance, but
seeing them fine close-up
Child and adult obesity
Keeping to yourself
Lack of interest in what’s happening around you
Now, Hold Up!! Before you start freaking out and running to the phone to make an appointment with your family doctor, let me give you some great news. I have the cure and I’m willing to share it with you. Are you ready? Here it is. GO OUTSIDE!! It’s as simple as that. The experts say that we should spend at least 30 to 45 minutes a day outside. How easy is that? If you don’t believe me look at this list of benefits that being outdoors provides.
It boosts your energy.
It’s good for your vision.
Sunlight helps relieve minor pain.
It boosts your immune system.
It provides you with free aromatherapy.
It enhances creativity.
It gives you your daily dose of Vitamin D.
It restores focus.
It increases imagination, reasoning and observation.
It helps you cope with stress.
It increases self-esteem.
Makes you more adaptable.
It decreases anxiety and improves balance.
It aids in a healthy mind/body/spirit.
It increases awareness of your surroundings.
It improves social skills.
It increases emotional and intellectual development.
Now that I’ve given you all this useful information and you know that being indoors all the time is not healthy, what do you plan to do about it? There is plenty of evidence and scientific data out there on nature-deficit Disorder that suggests we need to get our butts outdoors. All you need to do is do it.
Do you know someone that suffers from Nature-Deficit Disorder? Show them that you care for their mental and physical health and share this blog with them on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the social media outlets.
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Until next time, keep the sun behind you and the birds in view