Exercise: recent publications

Green Time: A Natural Remedy for ADHD Symptoms

ADDitude contributor Carl Sherman, Ph.D., spoke with Dr. Kuo about her findings and what they mean for people with ADHD.A number of studies had shown that adults without ADHD concentrate better if they have access to natural surroundings.

Researchers asked people how much time they spent in parks, gardens, and other green environments. Then they asked how attentive they felt, how focused they were at work, and how likely they were to misplace things.The researchers found that, the greater the exposure to nature, the greater the attentiveness.

These findings have been corroborated by objective measures of attention. There’s less research with children, but it points the same way.[Get This Free Download: The ADDitude Guide to Alternative ADHD Treatment]The theory is that, when you have to struggle to maintain attention — what happens when you concentrate on a task like writing or doing computations — neurotransmitters in the brain’s prefrontal cortex get depleted.

If you struggle too long without a break, you experience a condition that might be called “attention fatigue.” You need to let the system replenish itself, and being in a natural environment seems to let it do that.It’s a small step from this to ADHD, which is basically a chronic form of attention fatigue. The question is whether the positive effect of being in nature is big enough to produce a noticeable reduction in symptoms.Our findings suggest that the effect is big enough.

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Carl Sherman

www.additudemag.comwww.additudemag.com

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