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How Green Space Helps ADHD Symptoms

16/12/2020
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Did you know that spending time in green space outside can improve symptoms of ADHD?

Even if it’s only for a short time, getting out in green space can help with impulse control and concentration in both children and adults. Research has found that children with ADHD who regularly play in green settings have milder symptoms than children who play in non-green outdoor and indoor settings. 

People often remark that they feel better after spending time outside. It appears that outdoor time benefits not just the body but also the brain. That gives us a really important reason to go outside. It’s well-known that exercise releases chemicals in the brain that help improve symptoms of ADHD. It would seem that where we exercise also has a part to play. It may be more beneficial for people with ADHD to go for a walk in an open green park than to workout at home.

Interestingly, it has been found that spending time in open green spaces, such as fields and parks, is better than being in forests or built outdoor spaces such as playgrounds. Although outdoor time in a built-up area is still better than no outdoor time at all.

What can you do in green space?

In the colder part of the year, it can be hard to find the motivation to go outside. Here are a few ideas for activities you can do in green spaces besides going for a walk. Some are aimed at children but there’s definitely something here for everyone:



Go Geocaching

Geocaching is a great way to find real treasure and entertain kids who are otherwise reluctant to leave the house. There are over three million geocaches worldwide so there are plenty of them to find. All you need to do is download the app onto a device with GPS and off you go!

Nature scavenger hunts

This is a brilliant idea for keeping children busy outside and works well to focus the mind of a child with ADHD. There are plenty of scavenger hunt lists you can download or you can create your own. Leave the kids to it while you enjoy a nice walk!



Build a den

Den building requires creativity, concentration, patience and (sometimes) teamwork. It’s great fun and many woodland areas provide ‘big sticks’ for people to create their own dens. Children love it and it’s not unusual to see adults getting stuck in too!


Join a walking group

Going on a walk with an organisation such as the Ramblers gives you fresh air, exercise and good company. Of course, you can always plan your own country walks too. Why not take a picnic and make a day out of it? 



Join a bike club

A fun way to explore new places while getting out and exercising. A great way to do it is to join a bike club. Click here to find one near you. Bike riding is a great way to get out into green space and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Jump in puddles

This is mainly for little ones and is the real reason why wellies were invented! It also proves that rainy weather is no excuse for not getting outside. Splashing outside in water is a wonderful sensory experience for children with ADHD to enjoy.



Try a local ParkRun

Running is a really popular activity these days. If you have never tried it before and need some encouragement, why not join an organised event such as a local ParkRun or train with a local running club?


Green space and schools

If you’re a parent of a child with ADHD, it may be worth considering green space when you are choosing a school. The last few years have seen schools making improvements in their outdoor curriculum and more are now offering Forest School provision. A school with plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning might benefit children who struggle to learn in a more traditional setting.

What can you do?

We highly recommend building some green space-time into your routine (if possible) and try to get outside at least once every day. It’s beneficial for everyone, not just those with ADHD.

If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of ADHD or you need an ADHD assessment, please get in touch with us. You can contact us on 0800 0614276 or by email at connect@adhdcentre.co.uk.

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