No Child Left Inside |

Nature Deficit Disorder

Students examine critters under a magnifier.

ADD Kids: Go out and Play! ADD symptoms in children are relieved after spending time in nature. The greener the setting, the more the relief.

The term "nature-deficit disorder" was coined by author Richard Louv in his book "Last Child in the Woods" to describe what happens to young people who become disconnected from their natural world. Louv links this lack of nature to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Research is also showing that getting young people outdoors is helping ease attention disorders.

Faber Taylor, A., Kuo, F.E., & Sullivan, W.C. (2001). "Coping with ADD: The surprising connection to green play settings." Environment and Behavior, 33(1), 54-77.

Questions? Contact Frances E. Kuo ( at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Landscape and Human Health Laboratory, 1103 S. Dorner Drive, Urbana, Illinois 61801.

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The No Child Left Inside Act would address this by igniting students' interest in the outdoors and spurring them to take part in outside activities. And learning to explore the natural world and their personal connection to it, inevitably triggers an interest in spending more time in it.