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Nature Deficit Disorder

Just how bad is it?

Nature Deficit Disorder–what is it?

boys investigating outdoors

NDD is a term coined by Richard Louv, founder of the Children and Nature Network, whose groundbreaking book Last Child in the Woods documented the increasing disconnect between children and nature, and the long-term (and devastating) effects that can have, both for humans and for the environment. Why are kids not getting outside anymore? It's a complex issue, but below are some of the factors:

What's Keeping Kids Indoors?
  • Electronic media. A study by Northwestern University found that kids ages 8-18 spend 7.5 hours a day using media (and that nearly doubles for minorities)
  • Parental fears for their child's safety
  • Decreasing access to the outdoors
What Are the Long-Term Effects?
  • Attention disorders
  • Depression
  • Lower grades in school
  • Childhood obesity
  • Loss of respect for–and willingness to care for–the outdoor world
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