Mother Nature's for the Birds?
Americans Brush Off Call of the Wild for Allure of Electronics, Study Suggests
Feb. 4, 2008 -- Americans may be giving Mother Nature the cold shoulder in
favor of their TVs and computers, new research shows.
Experts report that the typical American spends up to 25% less time in
nature than in 1987, and time spent in nature dropped by about 1% annually
The researchers tracked visits to National Parks, hiking, camping, and
getting a license to hunt or fish. Chilling out in your backyard didn't
Time spent in nature isn't just down in the U.S. It's also declining in
Japan, report the University of Illinois at Chicago's Oliver Pergams, PhD,
Why the trend? The researchers write that the cause may be
"videophilia," which they define as focusing on sedentary activities
involving electronic media.
TV and computers may not deserve all the blame. But "regardless of the
root cause, the evidence for a pervasive and fundamental shift away from
nature-based recreation seems clear," Pergams' team writes.
"We don't see how future generations, with less exploration of nature,
will be as interested in conservation as past generations," Pergams says in
a news release.
The report appears in this week's online early edition of Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences.
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