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Natural Awakenings

Nature’s Prescription for ADHD: A Healthy Dose of Fresh Air Aids in Concentration

A new study by the University of Illinois shows that a dose of nature—a simple and inexpensive remedy—can make a great difference in the lives of children who find it difficult to complete tasks that require focus and concentration, such as doing homework or taking a test. That’s good news for the up to 2.4 million youngsters that might have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), diagnosed or not.

Researcher Faber Taylor explains. “From previous research, we know there might be a link between spending time in nature and reduced ADHD symptoms.” In 2008, he explored the idea by taking children on walks in different settings—one especially “green” and two less green. He found that after a walk in the park, children generally concentrated better than they did after a walk in the downtown area or the neighborhood area.

Taylor concluded that the physical environment in which children play and spend time matters, and that the greener the space, the more their attention spans improve.

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