Nature-Deficit Disorder is a condition caused by spending too much time indoors, cut off from sunlight and fresh air. This is often the result of modern technology and living situations, which encourage us to handle boredom and discontentment without even getting off the couch. However, all of this inactivity can cause serious problems, both mentally and physically — especially for our children. So today, Our 4 Outdoors shares some tips to help you eliminate this problem before it starts.
Understanding the Problem
There’s no question that advances in technology and living situations have done wonders for human health – not to mention our lifespan. But all those advancements come with a cost. These days, many kids spend far too much time with their devices, meaning that they aren’t getting the fresh air and exercise they need, not to mention the Vitamin D from sunlight.
Unfortunately, this problem impacts adults as well as children. As this feeling of disconnection with nature increases, we find ourselves experiencing reduced attention spans, increased problems with obesity, and higher instances of both physical and emotional illnesses, including stress, irritability, and feelings of unfulfillment and uselessness. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way!
What You Can Do About It
Luckily, you don’t have to haul your family to the closest beach or national park to get them straightened out. In fact, there are so many great ways you can keep your kids healthy — and outdoors — right in your own backyard, from painting to constructing your own ninja warrior course for your kids.
You can also stock up on fresh air, relaxation, and exercise at the same time by hitting the trails for a little mountain biking. In fact, nature also has a way of making learning fun – even if it’s only in your own backyard! Check out these great ideas from Earth Science Jr which include fossil hunting and backyard astronomy. And if you thought reading was a strictly indoor activity, click here for 6 Ways You Can Learn to Enjoy Reading Outside.
If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of games that don’t require any equipment at all. On the other hand, you could always consider investing in your own basketball court or backyard playground or swing set, especially if you anticipate your kids using them for years to come.
Also, if you’re a dog-owner, you’re in luck! Taking your dog for walks (or runs) is a great way to keep your pet happy and healthy while also getting exercise and fresh air for you and our family. A quick tip, though: you might want to invest in a dog collar with a GPS chip, in case you and your exercise buddy get separated.
The good thing about addressing nature-deficit disorder is that it doesn’t take a lot of money or time — all you need to do is get outside! And with these resources, you should have plenty of inspiration to help get everyone detached from tech and off the couch for a while!
Our 4 Outdoors strives to fill this website with ideas, tips, and helpful guides to inspire and inform you about the ways we get our (Formerly 4, now 8 kids) outdoors, in order to help you get your kids outdoors too! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.