Missing Trees: The Inside Story of An Outdoor Nation

Planet Ark's 2013 research, sponsored by Toyota, reveals shrinking backyards, screen time and long working hours have concerning implications for Australia's renowned outdoor way of life and our health.

Backyards, barbecues, beach and bush - Australians are known around the world as lovers of the great outdoors. However, recent research commissioned by Planet Ark for National Tree Day shows that people's ideas of what it means to be Australian do not necessarily align with our lifestyle.

The startling research shows that the laid-back outdoor culture we pride ourselves on is being eroded as Aussie backyards are shrinking, we're working longer hours and kids are playing on-screen rather than outside.

For every hour we spend outside, we spend over seven hours in front of screens watching television or on the Internet. Approximately 1 in 3 people spend less than 18 minutes per day doing outdoor recreational activities, which is about the same amount of time it takes to hang out a load of washing.

The research indicates that even quintessential backyard pastimes such as playing cricket and football and having barbecues are in jeopardy as a result of our changing lifestyles.

Released in the lead up to National Tree Day on Sunday 28 July 2013, the research report, titled Missing Trees - The Inside Story of an Outdoor Nation, builds upon previous research commissioned by Planet Ark that shows a direct link between childhood contact with nature and a range of health and wellbeing benefits.

Previous Research

2017 - Learning from Trees

2016 - Adding Trees - A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment

2015 - Needing Trees: The Nature of Happiness

2014 - Valuing Trees: What is Nature Worth?