How do we know Nature Deficit Disorder is a problem in today’s society?
Our children may be the first generation at risk of having a shorter lifespan than their parents.
- Sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity have contributed greatly to the numerous health problems plaguing today’s children.
- Chronic conditions such as childhood obesity, asthma, and attention-deficit disorder have all increased over the past few decades.
- Approximately 16% of US children (~ 9 million) aged 6-19 are overweight or obese.
- Childhood obesity has doubled over the past 30 years for preschoolers and adolescents and more than tripled for children aged 6-11.
- These chronic conditions may lead to pulmonary, cardiovascular, and mental health problems in adulthood.
- Outdoor activity in the natural environment has taken a back seat to television, video games, the computer, and a demanding schoolwork and extracurricular schedule.
- Today’s youth are losing the contact with the natural environment that is potentially beneficial for their health and well-being.1
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