"Today's indoor kids are distracted, less fit, more aggressive, and hard to manage in the classroom. Some don't relate well to other students or adults on a personal level," said Vice President for Education and Training Kevin Coyle.
"Outdoor time can improve overall health while lengthening attention spans, diminishing aggressiveness, improving test scores and ultimately advancing learning," he added.
The lack of outdoor time is likely to affect learning readiness.
NWF's 'Back to School' guide includes case studies that bolster the fact that outdoor education improves classroom performance.
Environmental education (EE) creates more motivated and competent students. Schools with EE programs showed higher scores on standardized tests in math, reading, writing, and listening.
Researchers at University of Illinois report that exposure to natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be "widely effective" in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children.
According to an analysis of federal data representing more than 6,000 children, low vitamin D levels are particularly common among girls, adolescents, and people with darker skin.
The report suggests that school administrations and educators have a critical role to play in reversing the negative impacts of the increasingly indoor childhood and helping children to experience, understand, and appreciate nature and the outdoors.
Parents can alleviate overly packed schedules and offer sufficient outdoor time to lengthen attention spans, diminish aggressiveness, improve test scores and ultimately advancing learning.