Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Heading into the forest we are all children.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are better able to focus after a twenty-minute walk in a natural setting, according to a study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders. The study compared walks in nature to those in urban or residential areas and found that the child’s ADHD improved most after walking in a green space.

"What this particular study tells us is that the physical environment matters," Kuo said. "We don't know what it is about the park, exactly – the greenness or lack of buildings – that seems to improve attention, but the study tells us that even though everything else was the same…we just changed the environment, we still saw a measurable difference in children's symptoms. And that's completely new. No one has done a study looking at a child in different environments, in a controlled comparison where everything else is the same."

Perhaps one of the most surprising finds in the study was that the nature-walk proved as effective as medication—sometimes even more so. “We calculated the size of the effect in our study and compared it to the size of effects in a recent medication study," said Faber Taylor, "and we were surprised to see that the dose of nature had effects the same size or even larger than the dose of medication." Read all about it.

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