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How Green Space Helps ADHD Symptoms

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. 
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How Green Space Helps ADHD Symptoms


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 ADHD symptoms. 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 work out 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?

Now that summer is here, people are more motivated to spend time 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! It’s a fun way to make outdoor time more interesting.

Nature scavenger hunts

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


Bike sales rose dramatically in 2020 due to lockdown and cycling is now more popular than ever. It is a fun and healthy way to explore new places. Riding a bike makes it easy to get out into green space and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you enjoy cycling, why not join a bike club? Click here to find one near you.

Start running


Running is a great way to burn off ADHD energy. If you have never tried running before and need some encouragement, here is a suggestion to get you started. Couch to 5K is a hugely successful 9-week programme that aims to get non-runners to a point where they can comfortably run for 5 kilometres. You can do this on your own, with friends, use one of the many apps that have been developed for it, or contact a local running club to see if they have any beginners training groups you can join. ParkRun is another popular option. Although events have been suspended due to the pandemic (at the time of writing), it’s worth keeping an eye out for when they begin again.

Find a new favourite outdoor space

We are creatures of habit and there is a tendency to go to the same place time and time again. Finding a new place to explore, or even re-visiting somewhere you used to go can make outdoor activities seem less mundane and more exciting. Try making a list of five places you haven’t visited recently, and make a plan to visit them all.

Visit an adventurous activity centre

Now that activity centres are open again, there is a huge range of adventurous activities to choose from. Whether you’re into abseiling, canoeing, camping, climbing, orienteering or zorbing, there really is something for everyone. This list has links to some of the UK’s key adventurous activity providers. Of course, you can also find a centre by searching in your local area.

Visit a wetland centre

If you love getting out and about in nature, a wetland centre may be a good option for you. The WWT is the UK’s leading wetland conservation society and its centres are at various locations around the UK.

Green space and schools

If you’re a parent of an ADHD child, 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 in 2021?

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. This year, with more people than usual spending the summer in their own country, there’s never been a better time to plan some fun activities that get us outside and keep us moving. Obviously, there are still restrictions to consider and many places are operating at reduced capacity with essential pre-booking. It’s advisable to do some research before you go anywhere but at least we can all enjoy getting outside in green space.

If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of ADHD or you need a private ADHD assessment, please get in touch with us. You can contact us on 0800 0614276 or by email at

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