Two surveys of parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have shown that performing activities in green settings can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Adding trees and greenery near homes and schools and encouraging kids with ADHD to go outside may help supplement established treatments to improve functioning.
In an initial, Midwestern-based study, parents were more likely to nominate activities that typically occur in outdoor green settings as being best for their child’s symptoms and those that typically occur in indoor or non-green outdoor areas as worst. Also, parents rated their child’s symptoms as better on average after activities that occur in green settings than after activities in non-green settings.
In the subsequent, nation-wide study, activities such as reading or playing sports were reported as improving children’s symptoms more when performed in outdoor green settings than in non-green settings.
ADHD affects up to 7% of children. Those afflicted have chronic difficulty paying attention and focusing on tasks and can be impulsive, outburst-prone, and sometimes aggressive. These behaviors often result in family conflict, peer rejection, and academic failure. Current treatments, drugs and behavioral therapy, do not work in all cases and in many cases offer only limited relief.
For the complete findings, visit the University of Illinois’ Landscape and Human Health Laboratory.
The information here is from the original scientific articles:
* Faber Taylor, A., Kuo, F.E., & Sullivan, W.C. (2001). “Coping with ADD: The surprising connection to green play settings.” Environment and Behavior, 33(1), 54-77.
* Kuo, F.E., & Faber Taylor, A. (2004). “A potential natural treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence from a national study.” American Journal of Public Health, 94(9), 1580-1586.