A family Wild Camping experience is a great way to get away from phones, computers and TV screens for a day – but is it really worth it? We take a look at why it’s worth ditching the tech and re-connecting with the natural world, and each other.
This one is pretty obvious. Most of the time the family are in front of screens, they are not moving.
To stay healthy, the NHS recommends that adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities. Government research shows that less than half of UK adults are getting anywhere near that amount of exercise, with increased reliance on technology and the modern sedentary lifestyle taking much of the blame.
Reasearch by the British Heart Foundation shows that it’s even worse for children, with only 21 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended levels of physical activity for good health.
Spending time in the outdoors, away from the temptations of screen time can begin to foster a lifestyle that makes more time for physical activity.
Switch to analog and find yourself by taking time away from technology.
Excessive screen-time doesn’t just take its toll on the body. When we use devices and watch TV, even for entertainment, our attention is focussed in what Kaplan and Kaplan (cited by Ebta & Izenstark) call “Hard Fascination”.
Technology saturation has been show to exhaust human brains by engaging them in ‘hard fascination’ – watching TV and computer screens, handheld devices, or even other stimulating settings such as amusement parks. The direct and sustained attention fatigues the brain, ultimately to the detriment of the surrounding social interactions.
The researchers propose that a natural setting encourages “attention restoration” to relax and re-focus the mind – allowing families to pick up on social cues from eachother more easily allowing greater communication and collaboration.
Clear your mind in a green space
Whereas the physical benefits of outdoor activities are clear, the benefits to mental health and wellbeing offered by time outdoors are often overlooked. Research by Natural England and the NHS shows strong correlations between outdoor exercise and preventing obesity, diabetes and depression.
Their research also shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Find out more about the Family Activities in Newquay that can help you unwind and re-connect – in the real world!