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A Holiday Cure for “Cabin Fever”

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 By Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Contact
December 24, 2007

Madison, WI – If your kids (and you) are bouncing off the walls this holiday week, the solution may be closer than you think: right outside your door. David Mizejewski with the National Wildlife Federation says parents can turn to a new website for listings of local parks and wilderness areas, and while they're there, get ideas for outdoor activities for kids and youth.

"We're trying to empower people to turn off the television sets, log off of their e-mail, go outside, get some fresh air and exercise, and experience nature."

Mizejewski points to research showing that growing numbers of children and teens are cut off from nature. They spend hours a day watching TV or at their computers, but only minutes outside.

"There are so many benefits of getting outside. We're actually seeing this rash of negative effects of people living indoor lifestyles, everything from childhood obesity to increasing rates of childhood diabetes."

He says there's one good way for families to use the computer: by logging onto Wisconsin offers a lot of outdoor recreation choices, but Mizejewski thinks many people might not know what options they have.

"I just, for example, typed in a Wisconsin ZIP Code. For just one city, there are more than four pages of outdoor areas where folks can go to experience nature. It's pretty amazing."

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