According to research, we now spend more than 2.5 hours a day looking at our smartphones. The team at WAA did the maths and worked out that this equates to 38 days of the year – which got us thinking about what you could do with all that extra time if you just switched off.
The link between spending too much time online being harmful to our mental and physical health is well documented. In Manchester, teachers and families have raised concerns about what feels like a growing epidemic of school children suffering from mental health issues as a result of social media.
Whatever your age, stepping away from smartphones and screens gives us an endless amount of benefits to our physical and mental health. A recent study found that spending just two hours a day in nature is just as important as getting your five a day.
So, it’s time to put down the tablets, get outside and test your abilities. Here’s some inspiration of what you can achieve in 2.5 hours.
(ALMOST) FREE TO DO
A Family Walk
No matter where you live, there is never a path, woodland or piece of countryside too far away – So why not enjoy the fresh air with a tech-free family walk for a couple of hours? The views of the Yorkshire Dales from Pen-y-ghent never fail to inspire, or maybe take in the Rivington Pike Walk, which is perfect if you have younger children!
Keep it simple and show your youngsters how to fly a kite. 2.5 hours is more than enough time to head outdoors and create some great memories. Manchester’s very own Heaton Park was recently named the best place in the UK to fly a kite, so there’s really no reason not to give it a try!
Nature scavenger hunt
Another favourite for little ones, a scavenger hunt is the perfect way to turn a dull afternoon into an exciting one. Hunting for treasure and collecting items along the way, a scavenger hunt is one of the best ways to get your children engaged with nature. A 5 senses hunt is also a great way to get your children intuned with their senses, using sight, sound, touch, smell and taste to explore their surroundings. Plan your own or get in touch with us for some inspiration.
EXPLORING WITH THE ADVENTURERS TEAM
An outdoor adventure birthday party
Rather than being cooped up inside, an outdoor adventure birthday party would allow your little ones the freedom to explore and discover new terrain. From pirates and princesses to a superhero adventure, tailor a party to your child’s interests and get their imaginations thriving. 2 and a half hours is a perfect amount of time for your little ones to spend their special day enjoying mother nature, whilst still enjoying all the things you would expect from any birthday party.
Babes in the wood
They’re never never too young to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, and we run special sessions for younger children to enjoy an hour of exploration and discovery. Bring your little ones along to one of our sessions and let them learn to enjoy the great outdoors. Studies have suggested time outdoors from a young age helps children build confidence and self esteem whilst developing emotionally, intellectually and physically.
FOR BIGGER KIDS / GROWN UPS
As you’ll be all-too aware, it’s not just children who are spending excessive amounts of time on their digital devices. Whether it’s in the workplace, out and about, or at home, it’s easy to get lost in the digital world. So, what do we recommend for you adults wanting to get away from the screen?
Take to the waters
Challenge yourself and learn to canoe! Canoeing is a brilliant way to improve fitness, strength and flexibility, not to mention a great way to lower stress levels (which, let’s face it, we all need every now and then!). Whether you’re a beginner, an expert or maybe somewhere in between, a couple of hours on the water is sure to be an exciting way to spend some time away from your devices and amongst nature.
Venture into the unknown
Step out of your comfort zone and discover the depths of the underground. Explore caverns and chambers filled with rock formations on a caving trip. As these kinds of courses are specially designed with groups in mind, it’s also a fantastic way to get your friends out there with you and enjoying the great outdoors. Fancy giving it a go? Get in touch with us and we can recommend the perfect excursion for you and your friends, family or colleagues.
The sky is the limit
Another exciting activity perfect for adults which is not just good for your body, but also your mind. Climbing combines complex decision making with physical activity, and is proven to improve memory, concentration and even creativity. With beginner and advanced options available, our climbing excursions are designed to challenge and test your skills in a way that suits your needs, and are all led by a team of trained instructors.
A 24-hour detox
Okay, so sometimes 2.5 hours just isn’t *quite* enough. For a fully immersive experience, trying coming along to our new introduction to bushcraft course. Learn techniques and skills to thrive in a natural environment, with so much to learn you’ll forget all about your Facebook inbox and Instagram likes. After a day away from your screens and devices, you’ll be well set for taking more time out in the future and finding other ways to enjoy nature, be it in the local area or further afield.