Nature Deficit Disorder | Consequences | Solution

Are you tired of sitting at home with no outdoor life in nature? 

Being urban residents, the connection with the natural environment is lost over time. About half of the world’s population is living in urbanized areas and suffers from low-quality life in terms of mental and physical health as well as behavioral issues, especially in children. So, are they suffering from nature deficit disorder? 

Head down below to know more about this!

What Is Nature Deficit Disorder?

Nature deficiency disorder is not a medical term or diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It is, in fact, a label that addresses the cost of spending less time outdoors in the natural environment. 

This terminology was coined by Richard Louv, the author of The Lost Child in the Woods. He describes it as a metaphor illustrating the human costs of alienation from nature. These include “diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illness.” 

According to Louv, it is more of a societal disorder that, apart from damaging children, also shapes whole families and communities. Humans who mostly care about the future environment always have a childhood spent in nature. 

Benefits from nature contact include relaxation, cognitive restoration, increased positivity, improved social skills, and tranquility in life. 

Causes of Nature Deficit Disorder

Americans spend only about 8% of their lives outdoors. This means that the average time Americans spend at home is around 90%. Urbanized lifestyles are the critical reasons for causing nature deficit disorder. Some of them are mentioned below:

Limited Green Spaces

Since the green spaces in huge cities have decreased globally, children and adults of this generation have to spend more time indoors than the previous ones. This has caused many emotional, physical, and behavioral disturbances in our lives. 

More Screen Time

Modern life revolves around mobile phones, computers, and TV screens. Children or adults find more pleasure in spending time indoors while staring at the screen for a longer period. So, the more people are committed to a modern lifestyle, the more they are away from outdoor activities. 

Avoiding Outdoors For Safety Purposes

Since the parents hear a lot of scary stories about unsafe environments outside due to crimes, accidents, or bad weather conditions, they prefer for their children to spend time at home rather than outside. 

Louv states that the media bombarded the fear of “stranger danger” among parents, so they don’t send their children outside. This is the leading cause of nature deficit disorder.

Busy Life Schedule

Most people follow busy schedules and don’t find time to get nature exposure. Our car-focused culture and increased pressure from the workplace and schools eliminate nature contact, which is essential for mental and physical health. 

Consequences of Nature Deficit Disorder

Since nature deficit disorder is not an official diagnosis, it does not have particular criteria. Therefore, disconnecting from nature sometimes mimics general malaise. With developing technology, people have lost connection with nature, which has negatively impacted mental and physical health, especially in children. 

Staying away from nature leads to various ailments, which include:

  • Reduced usage of sensations
  • Difficulty in maintaining concentration
  • Obesity
  • Increased anger 
  • Vitamin D deficiency 
  • Increased depression levels
  • Difficulty in coping with stress or anxiety 
  • Physical and psychological illness
  • Decreased sense of well-being 
  • Weak immunity 

It also affects the future of children, as staying away from nature can lead to an inability to take necessary steps to preserve it. 

Does Being In Nature Help Mental Health

Yes, being in nature helps maintain your mental health and positively affects your physical health as well. Some of the benefits of nature contact on mental health are mentioned below:

Promotes Happiness

Research says people who stay in connection with nature experience a much happier life.

Improve Cognitive Performance

According to another study, people were asked to walk 50 minutes in urban and natural areas. The results revealed effective cognitive benefits, including increased working memory, reduced anxiety, decreased negative effects, and preserved positive effects after walking in nature. 

Promotes Relaxation

Exposure to nature also alters brain activity by increasing oxyhemoglobin concentration in the prefrontal cortex, which improves physiological responses and promotes relaxation. 

Reduces The Incidence Of Depression

Most people follow busy schedules and don’t find time to get nature exposure. Our car-focused culture and increased pressure from the workplace and schools eliminate nature contact, which is essential for mental and physical health. 

The US-based Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) revealed that exposure to green space reduces the risk of depressing symptoms and low chances of having depression. 

Eliminate ADHD Symptoms

Outdoor activities in nature help in managing and treating behavioral conditions like attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD). According to research, indulging in nature improves mood and concentration in children. It fosters more creative activities, improves adult or child interaction, and can eliminate the symptoms of attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD). 

Diminish Stress And Negative Emotions

Ulrich’s psychoevolutionary model shows that natural interaction triggers a physical, emotional, and behavioral response, leading to diminished stress, physiological relaxation, and reduced negative emotions. 

Improve Sleep Quality

People with nature deficit disorder usually tend to struggle with sleep. However, exposure to green space promotes a good quality of sleep. The people of the US who participated in a survey reported that green spaces act against insufficient sleep in people above 65 years of age.

MOCEAN- A Perfect Spot To Restore Mental Health

MOCEAN is the perfect place to clear your mind and restore your mental health.

At Mocean Wellness Center in NYC, our experts assess patients’ mental and physical health before initiating therapy. Our modern, well-equipped technology can help you feel relaxed and comfortable and helps in releasing stress. 

The Bottom Line

There are no specific criteria for diagnosing nature deficit disorder. It is just a metaphor representing a lack of connection with nature. With the development of technology in the modern world, nature contact is being reduced, which is further leading to the development of many physical and mental health conditions, 

By promoting exposure to green space, you can eliminate symptoms of attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD) in children and can improve your mental health. 

Contact us at the Mocean Longevity Center in NYC today to improve your attention and promote mental clarity!

Then we create a health plan tailored to your needs.

Based on the results, we develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual to promote optimal health. With 1-on-1 consultations, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who care about getting you better, MOCEAN offers you a comprehensive road map on how to become the healthiest version of yourself.