Being a part of nature is good for our health

Modern civilisation separates the human body from nature with negative consequences.

It is astonishing to read that up to 90% of South Asians leave school with myopia (shortsightedness).  Why? Because their modern education system keep the children away from natural light.  Natural light causes the eyes of children to readjust to normality, which because of the lack of it means all the children in South Asia will remain myopic, and a large number will go blind.

Rickets, the bone disease of 200 years ago in Britain, has made a return in the modern era.  Rickets is due to lack of vitamin D.  The skin can manufacture vitamin D in sunlight, and it can be obtained through diet.  British children eat a poor diet, and now spend much of their time indoors, hence they are away from the sun.  Stranger danger, television, video gaming, scrapping of breaks in schools, limited play areas all drive children indoors away from the sun.  When children are in the sun, they are covered in sun blocking cream, which blocks or reduces the vitamin D producing effects of the sun on the child’s skin.

Studies are showing that the obsession with cleaning means children are denied the opportunity to play in the dirt, which impacts the development of their immune systems.

Nature is needed by children to develop.  Our bodies are designed to live and survive in nature.  Modern civilisation has created living conditions which separate human beings from nature, and often runs against the needs of our own bodies to be a part of nature.


20 responses to “Being a part of nature is good for our health

  1. Interesting, maybe this is the reason my own eyes are getting worse. There is an appalling lack of sunlight here, coupled with the fact that i’m indoors a lot more than i’d like to be, and I have to do so much reading. In a few days I will be going to get some new glasses, but now I wonder if this is the result of constant depressing overcast conditions and so much study.

    • It is possible. It does not matter if it is always overcast, just being outside in natural light assists with healthy eyesight.

      • I spend too much time staring at screens so try to stare at clouds as much as I can. Watching swifts feeding is the best exercise ever. and a lot of fun. In an estate near here they swoop down reallty low so you can lie on the grass and feel them sweep past you. Magic!

      • It was a huge problem here after the last war. A Dutch friend told me it was called the english disease. I think that’s why they started giving kids milk. with TB one of the major markers of poverty. Ironically milk was often a treatment for rickets but passed on TB. so combined the 2 illnesses.

  2. Good post, but I understand the problem with rickets is due to Asian immigrants so is the sudden drop in sunlight. But also due to the change in flour they cook with – in Asia the flour for chapatis is vitamin D enriched, so they are starting to use this here.

    • I am unsure what you mean by Rickets being due to Asian immigrants. The main problem for Rickets is the lack of exposure to sunlight, followed by diet.

      • If you come from a country with plenty of sunlight, your body gets used to plenty of it, so moving here means their bodies don’t get as much so they get rickets, this, as i said, with the change in type of flour. I understand the problem is largely a disease of Asian immigrants rather than locally born people.

      • Thanks Barb for your information. I noted from research that 1 in 1000 children in UK suffer Rickets, of which a large number are South Asian or Afro-Caribbean in origin. It is suggested half of all UK children suffer a Vitamin D deficiency.

  3. Human beings in general seem to be experiencing a deeper and deeper disconnect from the natural world. This hurts my heart – they don’t know what their missing, and this, in itself, is so sad. I’m going outside, now… 🙂

  4. All too true … and sad.

    People laugh when I blame things on urban living.

    Socializing with others and in a way “socializing” with nature is all important to human survival. That is what we have lost. A return to engaging nature is where we should head, not looking at satellite images to find out the glacial ice melting all too quickly but go live and feel the rhythm changes in nature directly.

    The world is a jungle not an urban jungle.

    Nice post.

  5. For those interested, can thoroughly recommend a book by John Berger, ‘why Look at animals?’ Until fairly recently, humans interacted with them on a daily basis – horses for transport, farm animals, chickens for eggs etc. About the time we started to lose the connection, zoos were being built to turn them into shows, and now we have the cartoonisation of them as fake humans. But we have also lost the use of them in metaphors – much litereture uses animals, but without close knowledge of them, our literature is less meaningful. and dealing with animals helps us understand our relationships with each other, teaches loyalty, comromise etc. and , well, just that life is life. cheers.

    • Thanks for your book recommendation: John Berger, ‘why Look at animals?’

      “But we have also lost the use of them in metaphors – much litereture uses animals, but without close knowledge of them, our literature is less meaningful.”

      This degree of separation from animals (nature) runs deep and wide.

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