According to a Nature Valley survey conducted with MARU/Vision Critical*, today’s kids are spending three times more time indoors on digital devices than they do outside in nature. They will be the first to admit it, with 35 per cent saying they do not spend time outdoors because they would rather be on digital devices for gaming and social media. They are missing out on the numerous and significant benefits that come from spending time in nature.
Nature Valley’s research revealed several reasons Canadians shy away from spending time outdoors, including:
– Societal Pressures – Parents feel tremendous societal pressure to enroll their kids in organized, structured activities, instead of letting them play freely in nature. As a result, scheduled activities tend to fill up kids’ free time – in addition to dinner time, homework time and bed time.
– Not enough time / too tired – A feeling that getting out in nature requires packing up the car and driving somewhere far away. Canadians also deprioritize exploring nature because they are “too tired” (27 per cent).
– Canadian weather – 52 per cent were dissuaded by Canadian weather being too hot or too cold and concurrently, because they do not like bugs (24 per cent).
– Technology/screens – 35 per cent of Canadians under 18 said they prefer to spend their time with technology, such as social media and gaming
“As kids now spend more time with entertainment media, they’re getting less and less time outdoors, despite the benefits,” says Ben Klasky, President and CEO of IslandWood, an innovative nonprofit organization that introduces thousands of children to the outdoors each year. “Spending time in nature is more than just fun and games. Independent studies have shown it increases a person’s ability to concentrate and problem solve as well as reduces anxiety and stress. Spending time playing in a natural environment also breeds creativity and problem-solving skills in children.”
My daughters and I had the chance to spend the morning with Ben Klasky and try out a few of his suggestions including a Scavenger Hunt for 100 things in nature. My girls had a blast, here’s a video of our Instagram stories, follow me to see more of our adventures at www.instagram.com/msmaureendennis/ and www.instagram.com/weewelcome.
Contrary to the belief that nature is far away, 83 per cent of Canadians have a park close to their homes, with one in five living less than 250 meters from a park, but fewer than half of Canadians (40 per cent) say they get outside every day. More than half of Canadians (53 per cent) expressed a desire to get outside more often.
Head outdoors for your own #NatureMoments this summer, to download the Nature Valley 100 #NatureMoments for 100 days of summer, visit www.naturevalley.ca.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Nature Valley, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.