Nature Deficit Disorder or NDD was first phrased by Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods (2005) meaning that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioural problems.
Richard Louv has stated, “nature-deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis but rather to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from the natural world”. Although it’s not a recognized medical condition, concerns about its effects on well-being are attracting widespread attention. Yup this is a serious condition.
Back in the day, camping and picnic were really common among the kids. There were tree houses, bird watching, tree climbing, flower picking, or just running around in the grass. But with time, the screens got larger, and little eyes became more glued to it. It’s sad to see how time and technology has affected our kid’s minds.
There are a lot of different reasons why this is a common problem these days.
Firstly, parents are keeping children indoors in order to keep them safe from danger. “Stranger Danger” is a growing fear among parents, especially in small neighbourhoods. Such incidents now cover most pages of a newspaper on an everyday basis. This could be a leading problem in the rise of NDD.
Secondly, loss of natural surroundings in a child’s neighbourhood and city. With the rise in concrete trees and crowded shelters, we are losing our flora and fauna.
Lastly, increased draw to spend more time inside. With the advent of the computer, video games, and television children have more and more reasons to stay inside. Sadly, the number grows every day at a rapid rate.
Moreover, Nature Deficit Disorder can take a serious toll on our health. Let’s look at some of the symptoms of this problem:
- Obesity (in children and adults)
- Lower grades in school
- Shorter lifespan with each generation
- Little or no respect for natural beauty
- Little or no understanding of the importance of nature
- ADD or ADHD
- Loss of imagination
- Lack of creativity
- Loss of innocence at the natural wonders of life
- Dependence on others (lack of independence)
- Fear of nature or the outdoors, of wide open spaces, or of forests
- Fear of normal, harmless animals (squirrels, lizards, etc.)
Ways to Combat Nature Deficit Disorder
- Get out. It’s as easy as that. Walk down the street. Play with your dog. Fly a kite. Go fishing. Its a really great way to escape from your everyday stress.
- Digital detox. Get away from your technology. Switch off your mobile and smell the fresh air outside.
- Find a sport you love. Get some pals of yours and have fun.
- Finally, the best way to be in touch with nature is camping. There’s no way better way to be in one with nature.
For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.