Playing Outside Makes Kids Happier, Healthier And Smarter (But 7 Minutes A Day Isn't Enough)

Jun 13, 2017

Despite evidence that children who play and learn outside are healthier, happier and smarter, the average child today spends just four to seven minutes playing outside every day.

Research suggests that a lack of exposure to the great outdoors can lead to a number of maladies, from obesity and vitamin deficiency to ADHD, anxiety and depression.

Insufficient time spent in the natural world is also linked to weakened ecological literacy and environmental stewardship.

While not a medical diagnosis, the phrase "nature-deficit disorder" has been used to describe the consequences of human alienation from nature. 

What factors contribute to the epidemic of inactivity afflicting children today, and what can be done to reverse society's nature deficiency?

How can parents and caregivers provide a safe and fulfilling outdoor experience for children?