Is Alienation from the Natural World Harming Our Health?

Joel Kato speaks with Richard Louv, author and founding chairman of The Children and Nature Network, about his new book and how 'nature-deficit disorder' is making us fat, sick, and depressed.

A long-time advocate of the need to increase opportunities for children to connect to nature through the Children and Nature Network and such events as the annual Kids to Parks Day, Louv's new book The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age, "details the threat of technology overload, ways to bring nature into the city, and his personal struggle with nature-deficit disorder."

He spoke recently with Kato about the book and the ideas behind it:

"As children and adults spend less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically. Studies indicate that time spent in nature can stimulate intelligence and creativity, and can be powerful therapy for the toxic stress in our lives, and as prevention for such maladies as obesity, myopia, and depression. It has huge implications for the ability to self-regulate and for attention-deficit disorder."  

"We hear every day how technology improves our lives. It does, in many ways. But we hear less about the cost of excessive use of technology. The info-blitzkrieg has spawned a new field called "interruption science" which addresses a new condition: continuous partial attention. Now, the point isn't that information technology is bad, but that daily electronic immersion, without a force to balance it, can drain our ability to pay attention, to think clearly, to be productive and creative." 

Full Story: How 'Nature-Deficit Disorder' Is Making Us Fat, Sick, and Depressed


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