Why does wilderness matter? This infographic explains

Coon Lake, North Cascades, Washington

NPS

In less than a generation we have transformed ourselves from an outdoors culture to one dominated by TVs, laptops, X-Boxes and Game Boys. And we are paying a high cultural price.

As this infographic shows, a child who spends time exploring nature is more likely to be thin and fit, get better grades in school, and have fewer emotional problems than couch potato counterparts. 

Despite this, our young people continue to disconnect with nature at alarming rates -- a problem that author Richard Louv described as "Nature-Deficit Disorder" in his acclaimed book Last Child in the Woods

Louv documented the negative effect of the rise of digital screens, and the disappearance of easily reachable wilderness. And if anything the downward trend in outside time has worsened since Last Child in the Woods came out in 2005.

A child who grows up without regular doses of nature is less likely to cherish the wild. Just as we face unprecedented losses of America’s pristine natural spaces, we may also be losing the supporters for saving it.

Here’s the good news – the cure is free and available to all.

Turn off the screens. Open the front door. Step outside. Enjoy.

Learn about our campaign to Go Outside and Play!

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