Outdoor adventure the key to happier, healthier and more confident children, says leading youth charity
Spending time outdoors is the key to happier, healthier and more confident children, however, only 1 in 5 of them regularly play outside*, says leading youth charity YHA (England and Wales).
The charity says that the opportunity to have adventures in the outdoors is vitally important to developing young people’s confidence, resilience and ambition for the future. Studies also show that just 5 minutes of ‘green exercise’ can improve a child’s mental wellbeing**.
To help more young people benefit from the transformational power of travel and adventure, YHA has launched a brand new campaign - The Adventure Effect. It hopes the new campaign will inspire young people and their families to get outdoors.
Highlighting the impact of people not having the opportunity to access travel and the outdoors, YHA confined the professional adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys to a room for three days. In contrast, the film also follows five young people during their first trip to the Lake District and demonstrates their personal transformation during that time.
The thought-provoking social experiment has been documented in The Adventure Effect film. Watch the film and learn more about The Adventure Effect at www.yha.org.uk/adventureeffect
Launched on Wednesday 7 November on social media, the film charts Alastair’s increasing frustration and unhappiness at having the opportunity for adventure removed from him. On day two of the experiment he admits to ‘feeling low’.
YHA has 150 locations throughout the UK offering affordable access to adventure for everyone, regardless of age. Youth hostels are located in National Parks, coastal resorts, towns, cities and rural areas of England and Wales.
As part of YHA’s Adventure Effect campaign, adventurer Alastair Humphreys has shared his five tips for people to get their adventure started:
Don’t just talk about it. Do it.
Do something simple and small, like going for a walk in your local woods or head up a hill.
Make sure you’re warm and prepared for bad weather with suitable waterproof clothing.
Take friends or family with you so you can share the experience and encourage each other.
Making the most of the outdoors shouldn’t be about pushing yourself and feeling miserable. Go at your own pace and have fun.
Get your adventure started at www.yha.org.uk
*(Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment pilot study: visits to the natural environment by children, Natural England, 2016)
**(What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis. Environmental Science & Technology, 2010)