DEP Business Management Group M2 August 9, 2018 The Importance of Outdoor Activity for an Indoor Generation Most people these days live a fast paced, technology packed life. Between working, taking care of children, cooking and cleaning, watching television, connecting on social media and more, an average of 90 percent of time is spent indoors. The consequence of spending time indoors all the time is having a negative impact on a persons health. In contrast kids who spend more of their time outdoors tend to be more active physically. A recent survey which was conducted by The Nature Conservancy indicated that only 10 percent of teenagers spend time outdoors in a day. Statistics coming from the Environmental Protection Agency deduced that adults and children spend 90 percent of their life indoors. Peter Foldbjerg, the head of daylight energy and indoor climate at Velux says We are increasingly turning into a generation of indoor people where the only time we get daylight and fresh air midweek is on the commute to work or school. Tremendous technological advancements have led to the evolution, of the electronically savvy indoor generation. We cannot imagine living without smart phones, tablets and mp3 players in this modern era, this however, has led to alarming drawbacks to health and personal well being. Although intellectual abilities of the present indoor generation our far outweigh past generations, it has resulted in declining physical fitness. Jane Burns chief executive of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre mental health says Too much screen time is not good thing for anyone but its not as simple as technology being good or bad, its about making sure you get the balance right and having enough other activity that is stimulated, which includes outdoor activities, communicating face to face and team building exercises. The executive assistant at the Children and Nature Network, Robyn Bjorrnson says children spend a lot of less time outdoors than they used to. This lack of time spent outside in the fresh air can be harmful to a childs wellbeing. It damages physical and mental health, contributing to nature-deficit disorder, which is the term used to describe the human costs of alienation from nature. Spending time in natural surroundings stimulates a childs creativity. Bjorrnson says there are many positive health benefits with doing outdoor activities with children. Children who regularly experience nature play are healthier, happier, and test better in school, Bjorrnson says. Studies indicate that direct exposure to nature can relieve the symptoms of attention deficit disorders, improve resistance to stress and depression, increase self esteem, stimulate cognitive development and creativity, as well as reduce myopia and lower child obesity. The fresh air and sunlight have the largest benefits, says Preston. For example, with increased exposure to natural sunlight, incidents of seasonal affective disorder decrease. When individuals are exposed to natural sunlight, the vitamin D in their skin helps to elevate their moods. Research has shown that spending time in nature has been associated with decreased anxiety, in addition to increased self esteem, says Preston. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) tend to focus after spending time outdoors. It might be speculated to apply this with adults. In fact researchers have proved that children with ADHD focus better after being outside. A study which was published in 2008 reported that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after walking through a park rather than a walk through a downtown area or a residential neighborhood. Researchers have also suggested that outdoor exercises could have a positive effect on ADHD children. This study has been done with children to justify their research. Burdette and Whitaker (2005) articulate that the brain develops at a much faster rate for those who play outdoors than for those who play indoors. The children become better learners and do well in school after spending time outside. Researchers at The University of Essex in England, say that it is plausible that exercising in the presence of nature has an added benefit, particularly for mental health and improvements in self-esteem and mood. Their research into green exercise as they call it, complies into research showing benefits from living in open spaces. Exercise reduces anxiety and, provides relief from depression and generates a feeling of wellbeing. Studies show that people who exercise have longer, restful sleep, which results in more energy and alertness which allows better concentration and the ability to think on higher levels. Outdoor recreation leads to more productivity at work. Outdoor recreation provides a way to get outside and enjoy the natural surroundings. Aside, from breathing fresh air and discovering natures many wonders, the outdoors provides benefits that keep one physically and mentally healthy. To enumerate children engaging in outdoor activities develop muscle strength, coordination and balance. It increases flexibility, fine and gross motor skills and heightened awareness. The disruptive kid in the classroom is a born leader outdoors. The social benefit, of time spent outdoors is that, kids and seniors benefit socially from outdoor physical activity which provides the opportunity to meet and build lasting friendship with people who share the same passions. Moreover, outdoor recreation promotes leadership skills as exposure to new settings develops thinking, memory and cooperation. It reconciles one for a deeper appreciation and respect for nature. This also, generates the need to care for and protect the environment. To conclude, although we cannot deny being the indoor generation we have to agree with the perspective that, time spent outdoors becomes a lesson for life. Outdoor recreation provides physical, psychological and social benefits, which enables one to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. The great outdoors generates a feeling of serenity and wellbeing that playing video games and social media cannot provide. A sound mind in a sound body, results from incorporating time well spent outdoors in contrast to being indoors cooped up with electronic devices. References PAGE MERGEFORMAT 1 Y, dXiJ(x(I_TS1EZBmU/xYy5g/GMGeD3Vqq8K)fw9
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