Parents spent more time outdoors in their youth than children do today

Girl playing in the park
Girl playing in the park Girl playing in the park

AS THE school holidays approach, a new survey has found that adults believe they spent more time outside than children do today, depicting modern society's vanishing relationship with nature.

The survey of over 2,000 adults across the UK, found that despite 89% of respondents stating they would enjoy spending more time in nature, over half (51%) spend one hour or less outside each day. Concerningly, over three quarters (84%) of adults admitted they spent more time outside as children compared to children today, indicating a mounting problem.

This builds on findings from The VELUX Indoor Generation report, which show the impact that spending too much time indoors can have on our health. This is especially significant for children, as their rooms can be the most polluted in the house.

The UK survey, commissioned by VELUX, the global roof window manufacturer, further revealed that 82% of those surveyed believe that having access to nature has a positive effect on their wellbeing and mental health. Two thirds (77%) also think they should make changes to their lifestyle to enable them to spend more time outside.

Peter Foldbjerg, Energy and Indoor Climate expert and VELUX Head of Daylight said, "We spend up to 90% of our lives indoors and have become an indoor generation. The survey shows that British people do want to combat this, and it's crucial that we find ways to let nature back into our daily lives again. Letting in natural light and fresh air to the home could be one among many ways to re-establish our connection to nature."

Terry Hartig, Professor of environmental psychology at Uppsala University comments, "Nature can reduce risk of illnesses involving chronic stress, as well as promote a range of intermediate outcomes such as subjective wellbeing."

VELUX's new UK campaign 'Let nature back in' highlights the risks of a nature deficient society. It explores the effects that indoor-based lifestyles can have on our overall wellbeing, amid a shift to an increasingly urbanized population.