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Walking in Sunshine

Running across grass, taking a hike, helping in the garden and other outdoor activities are critical to developing minds and bodies and research is also suggesting that these activities can lessen the symptoms of ADHD.

For more information see the article, Getting Some Sunshine Could Help Lessen ADHD Symptoms. The author’s claim is that the lack of natural sunlight is an underlying cause of ADHD. Four pieces of research are referenced and explored. One compares the levels of solar intensity across the United States and the prevalence of ADHD by state. Two evaluated the relationship between blood serum vitamin D levels and the diagnosis or symptoms of ADHD. The fourth study used parental observations of their children after spending time in outdoor green settings (with indoor settings and non-green outdoor settings as controls).

While none of the studies concluded a link between sunlight and the cause of ADHD, they did suggest that sunlight and a green outdoor environment promoted a decrease in ADHD symptoms in children diagnosed with ADHD as well in children that have not been diagnosed with ADHD. The mechanisms for this are unknown but may include increased exercise, less risk of vitamin D deficiency and better sleep/wake cycles. The author also noted that with more outdoor play, screen time is reduced.

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