Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Seven minutes outside?

Children’s time in nature is rapidly diminishing. Today’s youth spend just four to seven minutes outside each day in unstructured outdoor play such as climbing trees, building forts, catching bugs or playing tag, studies show. Yet they spend more than seven hours each day in front of a screen.”

This quote is from a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story that you can read inside Healthy Living this Sunday — a story that addresses the effects of “nature deficit” on children’s emotional and physical development. Seven minutes outside in unstructured play, but seven hours in front of a monitor? It’s enough to leave a writer at a loss for words. (I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.)

Also coming up in Healthy Living this Sunday, I’m excited to say:

– a story on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a somewhat misunderstood condition that scientists believe might be caused by a family of viruses, though they’re still not sure.

– a column on cyberbullying, which can cause terrible emotional distress, and which is fueled in part by the illusion of privacy and anonymity online

– a column on what exercise does for your brain. There are more neurological/emotional benefits than you may realize.

Finally, a reminder for those who saw last week’s story on Sandi Pearlman, the local woman with a rare liver/bile duct disease called PSC: The Save the Day Silent Auction and Fundraiser she’s helped organize  is Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Beth Sholom Temple  in Stafford County. There will be music, a silent auction and more. The temple is at 805 Lyons Blvd. All of the money raised will go directly to PSC Partners for a Cure, a non-profit whose goal is to raise awareness of — and find a cure for– PSC.