• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Emerging Science Note/Nature’s Way

Air Date: Week of September 3, 2004

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

Living on Earth’s Jennifer Chu reports on how playing outdoors may alleviate symptoms of attention deficit disorder.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Just ahead: concerns about the environment in Florida may cost President Bush some votes in this crucial swing state. First, this Note on Emerging Science from Jennifer Chu.

[SCIENCE NOTE THEME]

CHU: A new study suggests that a simple walk in the park may be a useful treatment for attention deficit and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tracked a large pool of children with ADHD to see what influence exposure to nature might have on their behavior. The researchers asked parents to report how their children performed after doing a range of activities – from watching television to reading books to playing group sports. Some activities were held indoors, some at outdoor spots without much greenery, like parking lots, and others at natural outside settings, like backyards and tree-lined streets.

The nationwide study included more than 450 five to 18 year-olds. It found that spending time outdoors significantly reduced ADHD symptoms such as inattention and impulsiveness. Scientists are now launching clinical trials to confirm the initial results and recommend treatments. A co-author of the study suggests that ADHD has been on the rise because modern life simply places too many demands on our attention. She adds that a quiet place outdoors can help reduce some of that stress.

That’s this week’s Note on Emerging Science. I’m Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you’re listening to NPR’s Living on Earth.

ANNOUNCER: Support for NPR comes from NPR stations, and: The Noyce Foundation, dedicated to improving math and science instruction from kindergarten through grade 12; Ford, presenting the Escape Hybrid, whose full hybrid technology allows it to run on gas or electric power. Full hybrid technology details at fordvehicles.com; The Annenberg Fund for excellence in communications and education; and, The Kellogg Foundation, helping people help themselves by investing in individuals, their families, and their communities. On the web at w-k-k-f dot org. This is NPR -- National Public Radio.

[MUSIC: Fontanelle “The Telephone Fade” FONTANELLE (Kranky – 2000)]

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.