The Biophilia Project was born in response to the need for a change in culture
The term “nature-deficit disorder” has been created by the American author Richard Louv to describe possible negative consequences to individual health and the social fabric as children move indoors and away from physical contact with the natural world – particularly unstructured experience.
Also, according to MIT professor and researcher Sherry Turkle, modern technology and devices interfere with conversations, empathy, imagination, patience, resilience, inner life and mental health.
As inner resources and empathy decline, depression, anxiety, and stress are soaring.
In these modern days, where technology and media are changing our lifestyle and undermining our capacity to maintain our wellbeing, nature can play a very important role.
Studies show that exposure to nature can reduce hypertension, respiratory tract, and cardiovascular illnesses; improve vitality and mood; benefits issues of mental wellbeing such as anxiety, and restore attention capacity and mental fatigue. But more than that, feeling a part of nature has been shown to significantly correlate with life satisfaction, vitality, meaningfulness, happiness, mindfulness, and lower cognitive anxiety.
In a sentence: the more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.
Technology and media are undoubtedly changing our lifestyle. In recent years we have seen an unprecedented climb in use of social media which together with text messaging have become an integral part of how individuals interact with their social groups.
Children are amongst the ones that are the most affected with low levels of physical activity observed in the US and the UK (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002;Reilly et al., 2004). A UK study of 6,500 children aged seven to eight, found that only 51% achieved the recommended hour of physical activity each day. Another study revealed that the average British child gets their first mobile phone aged around 12, but nearly one in 10 has one by the age of five. Similarly, a 2008 study in Spain found that just 48% of six to 18 years old did at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
In such articulated times, where human connections and virtual connections are merging in a vortix of new paradigms not yet clearly defined, the best thing we can do is to find a balance between the two worlds.
Time spent outdoors is one of the most consistent predictors of children’s physical activity (Sallis et al., 2000). Among primary school- aged children, active free-play that takes place outdoors in the child’s free time may potentially be the major contributor to children’s physical activity (Burdette et al., 2004)
The solution is very simple and unfolds through a few simple steps: slow down, unwind and enjoy some free and relaxed time in green spaces.
Research suggests that playing in natural spaces supports children’s attachment to their local environments (Wells and Evans 2003; Wells and Lekies 2006). Equally, children’s use of their local spaces develops an appreciation of natural systems, a sense of connectedness, and fosters imagination and creativity.
Also, studies suggest that the impact of life stress is lower among children with high levels of nearby nature than among those with little nearby nature (Wells and Evans 2003).
The project is founded on three main pillars: