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Hiking Outdoors Increases Creativity for Kids of All ages

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Mounting research is telling us that staying indoors is harming our mental well-being. Jonah Lehrer’s Wall Street Journal blog  WSJ Blog Mom Was Right:Go Outside  he warns that humans are becoming indoor species. Is this a problem? Yes, according to scientists’ research. We spend so much time with technology that we don’t have time to get outside.

Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend more than four hours a day interacting with technology. That means they have less time or no time for nature.

Getting outside brings tremendous mental benefits. The latest research finds that untamed landscapes have a restorative effect. They calm frazzled nerves and refresh the tired cortex. Best of all, after a brief exposure in the outdoors, people are more creative, happier and better able to focus.

Mr. Lehrer reviews a forthcoming paper by psychologist Ruth Ann Atchley and her colleagues from the University of Kansas. In a research partnership with Outward Bound, they collected data and measured the mental benefits gained from hiking in a wilderness area. Dr. Atchley gave 60 backpackers a standard creativity test before they ventured on the hiking trials. After the hiking trips, she gave them another creativity test. The test results were astounding. After spending time in  nature, the hikers showed a nearly 50% increase in their performance on the creativity test.

If you want to start  a regular outdoor hiking  program, you can go  to rugged mountain trails, local open spaces or if you wish there are even some resorts offering Nature and Creative Activity Packages like Sedona, Arizona’s Enchantment Resort.

Enchantment Resort Nature and Creative package includes: photography in Boynton Canyon, Family Nature Vision Boards, Organic Gardening and Composting, and a Nature Walk.

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