Societal Epidemic: America’s Youth Staying Indoors

Jun 23 2014

With technology on the rise and more children having access to computers, tablets and Smartphones, studies are showing that there is a rapid childhood epidemic taking hold – it’s known a children having limited access to the outdoors and having a world that involves solely around video games and other indoor activities.

Why do more children find themselves staying indoors? Studies show that technology is a dominant trend, with increasing heat and obesity playing significant factors.

A study conducted by The Nature Conservancy and the Foundation for Youth Investment, to name a few organizations, highlighted several interesting facts about why more children are staying in doors than exploring the great outdoors. These statistics include:

80% of children interviewed said they didn’t enjoy being outdoors due to high temperatures and heat.
62% of young adults said lack of transportation to natural or rural areas hindered their abilities to explore the great outdoors.
61% of youngsters said their homes are not in close proximity to natural areas.

A surprising result of this test was that children who have obese body mass indexes, said they participate less in outdoor activities and have decreased interest in future outdoor participation. This same survey shows that children who have experienced personal time outdoors show that 66-percent of these same children appreciate nature more, just based on having personal experiences with nature.

While more of today’s youth care about the state of the planet and environmental concerns, fewer children are going outside to take an active measure to decrease global warming and harmful pollution. Nearly 76-percent of today’s children believe that climate change can easily be resolved and changed if proper action is taken immediately.

Children also suggest that time outdoors does help relieve stress and nearly 90-percent of children admit the best way to get them more interested in the outdoors is by friends using peer pressure to get them to spend more time with nature.

Children also report that spending time outdoors helps them relieve stress, as taking part in outdoor activities helps relieve physical and mental tension, as well as depression.

The biggest impact on nurturing children with outdoor education remains between the ages of eight to 12 years, with a focus on hiking, canoeing, kayaking, nature and rafting trips.

 

References

http://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/kids-in-nature/youth-and-nature-poll-results.pdf