Archive for December 16th, 2009

Nature & Child Development, 1

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

This is passport to Texas

Could spending more time in nature help kids with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder?

The research so far suggests that there’s a relationship between contact with nature or playing in green space and improvements in attentional functioning.

Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor researches child environment and behavior at the University of Illinois. In one study, she had children with ADHD take guided, 20-minute walks in a downtown area, a neighborhood, and a city park, and afterward, tested their ability to concentrate.

What we found was that after the children walked in the park they generally scored higher on the measure of attention. And surprisingly, the neighborhood and the downtown area were not significantly different in scores. That said to us, there’s something about the park that makes it, perhaps, more restorative than the other two settings.

Taylor’s findings match other research as well, which suggest it’s the setting, not just the activity, that’s important.

Based on our work and the work of others, we feel very confident that children benefit from contact with nature or even just what we call green space, a small pocket of trees and grass. Certainly, we’re not suggesting that it’s going to cure a child from ADHD, but it appears to, at least, temporarily reduce their symptoms.

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