Kids Labeled With ADHD Benefit from Outdoor Play

Sep 16, 2011

A study that appeared in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being lends more evidence about the benefits of the theories outlined in the book, Earthing, this issue's suggested reading.

For Kids With ADHD, Regular 'Green Time' Is Linked to Milder Symptoms

ScienceDaily (Sep. 15, 2011) -- A study of more than 400 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has found a link between the children's routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms, researchers report. Those who regularly play in outdoor settings with lots of green (grass and trees, for example) have milder ADHD symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments, the researchers found. The association holds even when the researchers controlled for income and other variables.

The study appears in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9.5 percent of children aged 4-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2007. Symptoms include severe difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity and poor impulse control.

Although many children with ADHD are medicated, most "would benefit from a low-cost, side-effect-free way of managing their symptoms," wrote University of Illinois crop sciences visiting teaching associate Andrea Faber Taylor and natural resources and environmental sciences professor Frances (Ming) Kuo, the authors of the study.

Previous research has shown that brief exposure to green outdoor spaces -- and in one study, to photos of green settings

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