Same job, different uniform.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Another Reason To Tell Your Child To "Go Play Outside!"

Apparently there are some difficulties with the link. Maybe you have to sign up for the Pioneer Press to have access to certain articles, hence the reason the link worked for me. Apologies.

Here is the article:

Self-discipline, ADHD and the power of nature
By Maja Beckstrom
Article Last Updated: 04/01/2008 04:13:55 PM CDT

Girls who can see trees outside their apartment window have more self-discipline. And kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have an easier time focusing after spending time outdoors in spaces with greenery.
These are some of the findings from research conducted by Andrea Faber Taylor, who studies the benefits of nature to children at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a keynote speaker Friday at "Nature, Children and Families: A Necessary Connection," a conference at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Several studies since the 1970s have measured how natural spaces affect adults: Office workers who look out onto greenery like their jobs more and report greater life satisfaction. Patients whose hospital rooms overlook trees recover from abdominal surgery faster. Even photographs of nature have been shown to boost people's moods.
Now, Faber Taylor and Frances E. Kuo, director of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at Urbana-Champaign, have found a similar relationship with nature and children. They studied kids at a Chicago public-housing development by measuring the amount of greenery children saw from their apartment windows and by testing participants' concentration and ability to control their impulses. They found the greener the view, the higher the girls scored.
Faber and her colleagues theorized boys were not affected by the view because girls spent more time indoors, both because their parents wanted to protect them and because they were expected to help out with younger siblings.
Why would a view of nature improve concentration and impulse control? Nature is what researchers call a "restorative environment" that can help people recover from the mental and emotional fatigue of staying on task.
"The leaves are kind of moving, there are maybe some squirrels and birds. It holds your attention, but it's not riveting," Faber Taylor says. "You can think about other things while you're looking. There is this opportunity for reflective thinking, and that in itself is restorative."
Faber Taylor's most recent work has been with children diagnosed with ADHD. She surveyed 500 parents about how different leisure activities affected the behavior of their children and found children had fewer ADHD symptoms after spending time on tree-lined streets, grassy back yards and parks as compared with indoors or outdoor spaces that lacked greenery.
Finally, another study about to be published looked at 17 grade-school children who took 20-minute walks in three different settings: a quiet downtown, a manicured neighborhood with trees and a large city park.
The children exhibited the fewest symptoms of ADHD after walking through the park.

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Blogger "Molly McGee" said...

The link doesn't work for me, Elph :(

Thursday, April 03, 2008


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