If you spent your last weekend of summer camping or hiking or even relaxing on the beach, it may have looked like your fellow Americans were coming out in droves to spend time in the “Great Outdoors.” Unfortunately, while three-day weekends tend to bring out the outdoor-lover in all of us, studies show that both kids and adults are spending considerably less time outdoors than is healthy – far less than they were a decade ago.
A recent survey conducted by The Nature Conservancy indicated that only 10 percent of teenagers in the United States spend time outdoors every day. Statistics coming from the Environmental Protection Agency suggest adults and children spend 90 percent of their life indoors.
So, why should we be concerned about this? Being indoors is comfortable and entertaining (hello, Netflix!), but spending time in nature is just as important. There is a plethora of research that shows spending time in nature is incredibly beneficial to the health and well-being of people. Think about the last time you were outdoors, did you feel stressed, overwhelmed with deadlines or tied to your ringing cell phone? Chances are no.
In fact, we would wager that spending that time surrounded by trees, flowers, and other living creatures left you not only feeling refreshed and calm – but you started to feel a little more appreciative of the natural world. Here are 4 great reasons we all need to get outside:
1. Natural Environments Improve Mental Health
2. Time Outdoors Helps You Think Clearly
3. Physical Health and the Outdoors
4. Conserving the Natural World
Read the full article in One Green Planet here.