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Battling “Nature-Deficit Disorder” with Wilderness

Here at Dowitcher Designs we’re fans of the outdoors.

It’s not hard to be, because living in Santa Barbara is like living in nature’s lap. You can go anywhere in town and still be only a few minutes from the ocean or a mountain trail. If we have more time, we can find ourselves in the middle of remote woods or desert in just a few hours’ drive. We’re very lucky this way.

But not everyone has our kind of easy access to bountiful green spaces. And sadly, some who do never get to take advantage of them. Kids growing up a few steps from nature don’t have a chance to see it because there’s a digital screen in the way.

The Oxford Junior Dictionary for schoolchildren recently cut words like heron, acorn, clover, and sycamore and added words like blog, MP3 player, voicemail, and broadband.

In his book Last Child in the Woods author Richard Louv described the increasing disconnect from wilderness among children as “Nature-Deficit Disorder.” Even more alarming, kids who lack exposure to parks, forests, and wildlife refuges grow up less likely to support them. That’s why The Wilderness Society created this great infographic as part of a wider campaign to “Go Outside and Play!”

The benefits of early exposure to wilderness include:

  • Increased concentration. Children can focus better after a walk in a park than they can after a walk in a neighborhood or city.
  • Reduced stress. The tranquility of nature has a calming effect on kids.
  • Lower obesity rates. Kids who play outside have higher fitness levels on average than those who don’t.

“As we become more and more connected through technology, we become less and less connected with enjoying and protecting wild places.”

We have 635 million acres of federal wildlands, but you don’t have to live near one to reap the benefits of outdoor recreation. Now who wants to go for a hike?

Before you step out, check out The Wilderness Society’s infographic below, which incidentally is a great example of design and information flow if you’re looking for inspiration for your next landing page.


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