The average Canadian spends more than 90 per cent of their time indoors, and more than six hours a day in front of screens. We have become increasingly urban and virtually disconnected from the natural world. Symptoms of our nature deficit are easy to spot; stress, obesity, heart disease, asthma, depression.
The good news is that we already have an easy prescription for healthier lives and communities. We simply need to increase our dosage of nature. Studies show that exposure is good for your health and your head. It even makes you happier and nicer.
This is the message that Richard Louv, an American journalist and author, and Dr. David Suzuki, a renowned scientist and environmentalist, delivered this June in Toronto during an event sponsored by The Co-operators to an audience that included Co-operators staff and IMPACT! alumni.
Richard Louv coined the term "Nature-deficit disorder" to explain the cause of many physical and mental health issues experienced by many North Americans and especially children. This concern is echoed by Dr. David Suzuki who tells us we need to ad "a daily dose of nature" to our lifestyles for a healthier, happier life. "Studies show that enjoying a natural setting - like a park, beach, wetland, or forest - can reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and stress levels. Exposure to nature can help you sleep well and increase vigour and liveliness. It can even boost your immune system" says David Suzuki. Click here to watch "An Evening with David Suzuki and Richard Louv" and to learn more about how spending time outdoors is good for us.
Recently the David Suzuki Foundation ran a challenge asking Canadians to spend 30 minutes a day outdoors for 30 days to promote wellness and foster a greater respect for nature in the process. What benefits do you think you would realize if you spent 30 minutes outdoors every day - or do you already? How does time in nature help you be a better you?