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Natural Treatment for ADHD?

Posted: Children & Teens » ADD-ADHD | February 1st, 2005



By Jennifer Hahn of The Thinking Parent

A recent study suggests that spending time outdoors may help reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents of children aged 5 to 18 years old diagnosed with ADHD participated in a study. The parents of the 322 boys and 84 girls were interviewed about how their children behaved after participating in a wide range of activities.

Some activities were conducted inside, some outside in places without much greenery (such as downtown areas or parking lots) and some in relatively natural, green outdoor places (such as back yards or parks).

The researchers found that the symptoms of ADHD were most reduced in outdoor, green settings even in the same activity was compared across different settings. For example, playing ball outside in a natural, green setting would be more likely to reduce ADHD symptoms than playing ball inside or outside in an area without much greenery.

Furthermore, it appears that it doesn’t matter if the activity outside in a natural setting is done alone, with a single friend or in a group.

The results suggest that regular exposure to natural settings (after school and on weekends) may help reduce symptoms of attention deficit such as inattentiveness and lack of focus. Although additional research is necessary, this study’s findings offer an easy-to-implement option that parents of a child with ADHD may want to try.

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    Source: Kuo, F.E. and Taylor, A.F., September 2004, A potential natural treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Evidence from a national study. American Journal of Public Health, 94, 1580-1586.

© Jennifer Hahn

NFO contributor Dr. Jennifer Hahn is the editor of The Thinking Parent, a quarterly publication reviewing research of interest to parents: child development and parenting, pregnancy and childbirth, physical health, mental health and education. With more than 12 years of experience in research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Hahn received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and completed her residency at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center. She is the mother of two daughters.

One Response to “Natural Treatment for ADHD?”

1 Maggie Derival says:

My daughter does have a love for nature. I will give this a try and hope it will help with her daily school activities. I definately will not agree on medicating her.

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