Children’s roaming radius from their home has decreased by 90% in the past 30 years. Spine and neck problems in young people are at an all time high (linked to sedentary lifestyles and frequent use of hand held screens), and childhood obesity is a well known epidemic. Children also spend less time than ever in free play, which is critical to their development, instead being shuttled from one adult-led activity to the next.
Increasingly we as a species are divorced from the environment in which we spent hundreds of thousands of years evolving. Mental health problems and chronic illness are highest in technologically developed countries. Peer reviewed research studies prove the link between access to natural environment and wellbeing in all its measures; including better physical health, lower crime, less domestic violence, less need for pain relief post surgery, optimised mental health.
In an era of constant threats to humanity through natural disasters precipitated by human induced climate change, the need for environmental custodians could not be greater. In knowing the environment and understanding it we start to value it, and the seeds for environmental stewardship are sown.
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