Nature deficit disorder was introduced by journalist and author Richard Louv in a book titled Last Child in the Woods (2005).
Do you spend as much time in nature as you should?
And have you heard about the behavioral effects that a deficit of nature can have on you and your children? Here, we will tell you more about nature deficit disorder. We will also tell you how to spot the effects of nature deficit disorder in children that are close to you.
Lastly, we will tell you how you can prevent nature deficit disorder.
What is Nature Deficit Disorder?
Louv’s hypothesis suggests that children, as well as humans of all ages, are spending less time outdoors than in the past. Spending more and more time indoors may lead to a wide range of behavioral problems.
Some parents like to keep their kids indoors to protect them. Others give in to their children’s desire to play video games constantly. Still other parents are simply too lazy to get outdoors themselves. Regardless, nature deficit disorder may be taking it’s toll.
Signs and Symptoms of Nature Deficit Disorder
What are some symptoms of nature deficit disorder? Here are just a few:
• Disorders like ADD or ADHD that effect length of attention span
• Obesity in children
• Lower grades in school
• A shorter possible lifespan than the current generation
• Loss of a sense of wonder and creativity
• Myopia, or not being able to see objects at a distance, but seeing them fine close-up
• Having little to no respect for natural beauty or natural areas.
Preventing Nature Deficit Disorder
If you are an educator or parent, you might be interested in how to prevent nature deficit disorder. There are lots of ways for you to do this.
First, let your children spend more time outdoors. You might even want to spend that time outdoors with them. Make it a point to take your children to natural areas on a regular basis.
You can do this on walking field trips, field trips, or just family vacations or as a regular family outing. Be sure to have some offline time at your house every day where no video games, TV, or phones are allowed.