Nature Deficit Disorder

NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER was conceptualized by Richard Louv  in 2005 with the publication of his best-selling book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.”

Richard Louv highlights the costs of disconnection from nature for human beings, among which:

  • a shing use of our senses
  • attention difficulties
  • higher rates of physical and emotional illness.


The Nature Deficit Disorder is a syndrom with effects on individuals, families, and communities:

  • 39% of children never play outside during the week (aged 3 to 10 ENNS 2007 study – France)
  • 3/4 of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmate
  • In the Netherlands, children of non-western origin are often afraid of nature. Among the 6-10 year olds, 55% are afraid of wasps and bees (De Vries, Langers, Donders and Van den Berg, 2012).
  • ADHD is the fastest-growing behavioural problem among young people, estimated to affect 8% of school-age children. Its rise has coincided with a reduction of outdoor spaces for play and recreation (Panksepp 2003).


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