According to recent studies, outside exposure is a very healthy benefit for both children and adults. Many may argue that it could be anywhere outside, however, others claim that it must be a “green” environment in order to reap the full benefits. Still, others believe that all one has to do is look at pictures of the great outdoors. All in all, being outside can greatly improve mental health. Children who play outside tend to be smarter, happier, and far more attentive. They are less anxious than children who remain indoors all day long. It’s as of yet unclear how being outside can improve functioning, yet, there are some things that we do know.
Being outdoors can greatly improve confidence. When children play in nature they use less structure than indoor play. Therefore they are finding infinite ways to interact with their environment. From the park to a backyard to a hiking trail, children are finding ways to interact and learn. Being outdoors can promote more creativity and use of the imagination. Children can think more freely and design their own play. Such unstructured types of play can also allow children the meaningful mindset to interact with their surroundings. Children can think more freely and approach the world in more innovative ways.
Children who play outdoors will learn more responsibility. They will recognize that living things will die if they’re not properly tended to. Children will realize that they must water plants, tend to them and nurture them in order for them to thrive.
Children will have a different interaction with the world when they play outdoors. They will see more stimulation than that of a violent video game, In reality, their imagination will be far more active and alert. Children will hear and smell more of their environment and be far more alert to the needs of their surroundings.
Children who play outdoors will be up and moving and find more ways to interact with their surroundings than those who remain on the couch watching television or playing video games. They’ll find that they can ride bikes, run and play as opposed to more structured activities. Being outside is great for their overall health. It can stimulate more exercise and more focus.
Children who are outside more will be more thoughtful and more in tune with nature. They’ll display a sense of wonder for their environment and they’ll ask more questions about the world that they live in.
Spending time outside will reduce stress and fatigue. Per the Attention Restoration Theory, being in an urban environment requires direct attention that forces you to ignore distractions and is exhausting to the brain. Clarity Clinic emphasizes that being in a natural environment is healthier, it helps to improve attention, create fascination of life, and more outdoor activities. It creates feelings of pleasure, and reduces fatigue.