Photo: Did you take your nature pill?

Nip “nature deficit” in the butt like Lauren Smith! Get outside for 30 minutes for 30 days. (Credit: Melanie Smith)

Pop quiz: What's your preferred view—the ocean, a forest, a pond, or trickling creek?

Twenty years of research reveals that people prefer familiar landscapes. First choice is where they grew up. Second is savannah, where we all evolved.

Think back to the forests, fields, or streams you loved as a child. (My childhood nature retreat has succumbed to urban sprawl—a 7-eleven and giant, single-family homes with an SUV per person in each driveway.)

You might not realize that time outdoors (even a view of nature) can:

  • reduce obesity, stress, and the incidence of clinical depression
  • decrease blood sugars
  • improve impulse control and boost immune functions
  • improve cognitive function, self-discipline, and resilience under stress
  • improve performance in the workplace and increase job satisfaction
  • improve academic performance in children
  • moderate the effect of stressful events in children
  • make you more generous
  • build a strong sense of community, mutual trust, and a willingness to help others
  • lower rates of aggression including violent and property crimes
  • combat loneliness

What pill, vitamin, or energy drink can do all that?

Join our June 30×30 Challenge! We're asking Canadians to spend 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days to improve their lives. It's that simple.

Stop treating time outdoors like it's dessert, something only to indulge in once the chores are finished and the homework's done. Vitamin "N" (for "nature") is essential for human function. And, it's more important for children than adults, for the poor more than the rich, and the elderly more than the middle-aged.

Register online with a chance to weekly prizes and the grand prize! Nip "nature deficit" in the butt.

How will you get at least 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days?

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

May 27, 2012

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1 Comment

Jun 03, 2012
7:22 PM

I would be really interested in getting any research or articles relating to the idea of childhood development and health and well being.

Any chance you could send this info my way?

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