A list of statistics – mostly scary, a few encouraging
• 80 % of us population live in urban areas where parks, playgrounds, and playing fields are limited.
• Video games, iPods, cell phones, social networking sites, Computers/internet, TV, and Malls consume us. Getting lost in a “sea of technology.”
• A 2002 study showed that 8-year-olds could identify 25 percent more Pokemon characters than wildlife species.
• Between 1997 and 2003, the proportion of children ages 9 to 12 who spent time hiking, walking, fishing, playing on the beach or gardening declined 50 percent, according to a university of Maryland study.
• 30 percent of teenagers did not participate in any outdoor nature activity at all this past summer. Another 17 percent engaged only once in an outdoor activity like camping, hiking, or backpacking.
• Between 1995-2005, overnight stays in national parks declined by 20% and backpacking stays dropped 24%.
• Missing out on a huge enrichment of their lives: attention spans, physical health and mental health, to stress levels, creativity, cognitive skills, low-self esteem, obesity.
• Experts predict modern kids will be the first since the second World War to have poorer health than parents-and they say a lack of outside play is surely part of it.
• Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder were much improved by time in nature.
• Being outside will cement the love, respect and need for the landscape.
• The stress of the computers is replacing breaking an arm as a childhood rite of passage.
• REI CEO says, “ the company’s major competition doesn’t come from other outdoor stores, it’s with the video screen.”
• The average child spends 35 hours a week watching T.V. or computer.
• A child is six times more likely to play a video game on a typical day than to ride a bike.
• One in three American youth between 10-17 is overweight or obese.
• Obesity among 12-19 more than doubled, and it tripled for children ages 6-11 in a 2003 study.
We find children are very happy to be outside, learn about nature, and disconnect from technology without computers, televisions, and cell phones at camp. Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, swimming, and camping are just a few of the ways we reconnect children with nature.
What do you do outside?