Frances E. Kuo, Director



Feature Articles


Trees, Green Space, and Human Well-being

The Power of Trees


ADHD: Nature Therapy Helps Kids

Research Suggests a Green Approach to Treating ADHD

Links to other coverage at other sites

A 'Dose of Nature' for Attention Problems (New York Times)

Paris Parks (National Geographic)

Outdoor Time Calms Hyper Kids (Prevention)

Annapolis Goes Green (What's Up?  Annapolis)

Partial list of other recent coverage

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences    


"ADHD: Nature Therapy Helps Kids"

Reprinted from USA Weekend, with permission. March 13, 2005.


Nature helps the 10% of ADHD kids who don’t respond to medicine.

Green therapy—exposure to natural settings—appears to help reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their study of about 400 boys and girls, ages 5 to 18, assessed the effects of 49 common after-school and weekend activities on ADHD symptoms.

In the study, kids who participated in “green outdoor activities” had significantly reduced symptoms, regardless of geography, urban or rural environment, diagnosis, age, sex or income group.

Simple “exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective” for kids who don’t respond to medicine, says Frances E. Kuo, assistant professor of environmental sciences and lead author of the study, which was published in “American Journal of Public Health.”

Suggestions for nature treatments:

--Find a greener route to and from school, ideally a walk down tree-lined streets or through a park.

--For play, look for green yards and ball fields.

--While doing schoolwork indoors, sit near a window that offers at least a partial nature view.