Green Spaces are Good Places for ADHD Play

ADHD symptoms reduced with regular green space play

(RxWiki News) What if there were a healthy, low-cost, easy-access way to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in youngsters? There is - outdoors.

New research shows that regularly playing outdoors in greenspaces - parks, fields and other open areas - helps kids with ADHD. Routine exposure to these areas actually produces ongoing reductions in ADHD symptoms.

"Play outdoors - it's good for the mind and body."

The study, led by Child Environment and Behavior Researcher, Andrea Faber Taylor of the University of Illinois at Urbana, involved 421 children.

Researchers conducted an Internet-based survey of  parents to gather information on the participants' ADHD symptoms and typical play settings.

The findings show that where a child plays does have an impact on the severity of ADHD symptoms. Furthermore:

  • Children who regularly play in greenspaces have milder symptoms than children who play in built-up outdoor spaces and indoor areas
  • Children with hyperactivity only do well in green settings that are more open

The authors say that these and previous similar findings suggest that randomized clinical trials should be developed to formally evaluate exposure to greenspace as a viable ADHD treatment.

This study was published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.

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Review Date: 
August 16, 2011