Winter is setting in… be aware of Nature Deficit Disorder (AKA Couch Potato Syndrome)

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With winter truly setting in and the days becoming shorter and cooler, it is important we make the most of the daylight hours by spending time outdoors. With it getting dark straight after work Queenslanders spend a lot more time indoors, especially in comparison with the rest of the year, potentially exacerbating the problem.

The term “Nature Deficit Disorder” has been around since 2005, but the phenomenon has only recently started to make headlines. The term refers to a trend towards an increased alienation from the natural world, brought about by our increasing dependency on electronic devices and a loss of natural surroundings. Specifically, it is the costs of such an alienation that is sparking concerns. While not a medically recognised disorder as such, the term is beginning to gain some prominence, with Dr Ross Cameron of the department of landscapes at Sheffield University recently addressing The Royal Horticultural Society on the subject. “As biological beings, we are physiologically adapted to be in certain environments – to run, to play, to hunt, to be active basically,” says Dr Cameron.

Here at Go Turf, we know it can be much easier to spend evenings on the couch than getting out into the garden or having a long walk in the evening but the ramifications of a sedentary lifestyle are being felt all over the world. As we, and in particular our children, spend more time indoors under artificial lights plugged into our electronic landscape, our lack of affinity with our natural surroundings has the potential to bring about low mood and a reduced attention span.
What can you do to address the imbalance that winter might bring?

The Royal Horticultural Society in the UK has the following recommendations for reconnecting with nature:
▪ Any green environment – from your lushes lawn to potted plants around the garden provide green space that attracts wildlife and exposes people to the benefits of the natural world.
▪ Some green plants are better than others – check out our blog on the most air purifying Aussie plants.

In conjunction with the above recommendations, wildflowers offer a low-maintenance, high-return option for enhancing your green environment. Whether it be a full meadow or a splash of colour within an urban landscape setting, wildflowers are easily adapted to a myriad of landscapes and also offer the added advantage of providing a bio-diverse habitat for birds, bees and other species. Check out our blog for more tips and trick on improving your green space!



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