Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reason No. 20 to hike with kids: Reduce Attention Deficit Disorder

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /
If your school-age child is suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seriously consider taking a hike.

In a controlled field experiment, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers found that exposing children aged 5-18 to open green space can reduce ADHD’s severity (read the paper). Of children exposed to both open green space and to man-made areas (such as shopping malls), the former enjoyed better concentration, procrastinated less when facing a challenge, and found those challenges less difficult.

The best open green space? Open grass, so look for a day hiking trail that heads through a meadow.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.