The importance of reconnecting with the great outdoors

Laura is surprised by some of the statistics she came across in a recent health and environment infographic.

By Laura Grande
The importance of reconnecting with the great outdoors Photo courtesy of

I've always been a city girl, although I do love to seek greener pastures — literally — every now and then just to get away from all the hustle and bustle of living in Canada's largest metropolis. I like a sense of balance, as I'm sure most of us do. The fact that now, more than ever, people are living in cities as opposed to rural areas isn't particularly surprising. However, there are some shocking statistics out there about urbanization trends and its effects on the human population — things we don't normally consider as we go about our daily routines.

I recently read "The Big Disconnect" infographic (click link or see below) put together by, and I was surprised by some of the statistics they illustrated. I probably shouldn't have been all that shocked, but I guess there's just something particularly jarring about seeing it all set out in front of you that really makes you stop and think.

When I read that the average person spends 95 percent of their time indoors each day, I couldn't believe it. But then I actually stopped to think about the amount of time I spend outdoors each day and sometimes it amounts to as little as 10 minutes — the amount of time it takes me to walk from the subway to my front door.

According to the graphic, our children spend 67 percent of their day using electronic devices and six hours parked in front of the TV or computer. This winds up leaving an average of six minutes spent outdoors. Six minutes! I suppose it should come as no small surprise, then, that 20 percent of North American children are considered obese (up from only four percent in 1960) and that there are significant increases in health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and ADHD.

What with so much of our energy spent on work, school and technology we are forgetting the positive health benefits of spending time with nature.

All I know is that this Canada Day long weekend I'll make sure I do my best to make sure I'm outdoors for the majority of the time. Nature and I have some catching up to do!

What about you: Did any of the Cottage Country stats surprise you? Do you live in a city or a rural community?

The importance of reconnecting with the great outdoors  

This article was originally published on Jun 29, 2012

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