Exposure to green spaces could help treat ADHD

Since previous research has hinted that exposure to green space could have a beneficial effect on the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Andrea Faber Taylor, University of Illinois crop sciences visiting teaching associate, and natural resources and environmental sciences professor Frances (Ming) Kuo carried out a study to examine whether routine exposure built into children’s everyday play settings might yield ongoing reductions in their ADHD symptoms.

Having collected data on 421 children with ADHD, they found that the everyday play settings make a difference in the overall symptom severity. Children who play regularly in green settings have milder symptoms than those who play in built outdoor and indoor settings. This is irrespective of income bracket or gender. Children with hyperactivity even benefit from only a partially green environment.

Taylor and Kuo suggest that these findings now be tested in randomised clinical trials of regular exposure to green spaces as a treatment for those with ADHD.

Source: Applied Psychology

First published August 2011

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