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Risk Intelligence
18 October 2023

The Rising Tide Of Risk Deficit Disorder

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Risk Deficit Disorder has risen in society from our choices. With the push back on Risk, we’re now seeking the consequences.


With generations being raised in a risk free world, both intentionally and unintentionally, the impact has now become clear. From mental disorders to physical deconditioning, we can draw a clear line.

  • Risk Deficit Disorder results in a host of ailments from learning strategy deficits to mental illness,
  • It’s an exponential crisis, magnifying with each generation,
  • Push back against the push back. Get active in your communities to promote risk

What Is Risk Deficit Disorder

Risk Deficit Disorder describes the growing and unhealthy trend of attempting to remove all risk from within our community and the problems that this risk removal indirectly creates.

  • Risk Deficit Disorder is linked to a rising multitude of social challenges,
  • From obesity to mental illness, so much can be traced back to this disorder,
  • Each generation it’s becoming clearer and clearer,

The removal of risk from our societies, especially in the case of young people and play is having an enormous impact.  We’re seeing connections between rising levels of social challenges all linked to this one deficit.

Young people with Risk Deficit Disorder are more likely to face challenges of: Obesity, Lack of independence, decreased learning strategies, decreased perception skills, decreased judgement and risking mental health disorders and illness.

The connection between the lack of risk taking and these consequences is becoming more prevalent and more evident with every passing generation.

A Generational Crisis

This is going to become a huge problem if we don’t tackle it. The deficits it creates have ripple effects, with worse physical and mental health magnifying exponentially.

  • Currently Risk Deficit Disorder is just emerging,
  • Soon it‘ll become a generational problem, with risk deficit parents raising risk deficit children,
  • Then it’ll become social, as we fear risk, innovation and challenge,

Right now it’s “just” impacting our young people individually, but it’s quickly turning into a generational issue, and soon it’ll be a social one.

The generations which grow up with these consequences will begin to raise their children with even less of an appreciation, and limited skills, which will continue on and on.

Finally this will have severe impacts on our communities and societies, driving us away from innovation, from success and from courage and resilience towards comfort and mediocrity. All of this will bed down into a vicious cycle, as the lowered resilience begets less risk taking.

Do Your Part

This is a big problem, and at Risky Kids we’re doing our best to challenge it. But in the words of Uncle Sam, “We Need You”.

  • You’re already doing your part just by learning more,
  • Push back against the push back! Make room for risk,
  • Inspire you communities by encouraging risk and setting the example for others,

If you’re reading this, you’re already doing your part for the cause. You’re looking to understand risk better, to improve your knowledge. If you’re really awesome, you’re also enrolled in Risky Kids!

It’s going to take more than that though, you’ve got to make sure you don’t let your schools, your teachers, your friends or even strangers push this back even further. Help them understand the value of risk (compassionately and passionately).

Direct them to Risky Kids resources, encourage them to learn or even set up groups in your community to help create places for people to explore risk taking together.


No doubt about it, Risk Deficit Disorder is intimidating as far as obstacles go. Risky Kids has been working hard though on an arsenal of tools and a bulwark in the form of our clubs and programs to fight back.

We’re not fighting back against people though, we’re fighting back against what always holds us back. Our fear, and our fears as they exist in others. So get fighting!

Richard Williams

Richard Williams

Risky Kids Founder, Director of Programming

Richard Williams is a fitness industry consultant, gym owner, business coach and professional stunt actor with more than a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. With an education in psychology and criminology, Richard blended life experience as a fitness industry consultant with Spartan Race, gym owner, elite-obstacle racer, ultra-runner and professional stunt actor to create the Risky Kids program.

Richard has a passion for enacting meaningful social change through all avenues of health and wellbeing and believes that obstacles are the way. Some of Richard’s key achievements include:

  • Key consultant/coordinator Spartan Race/Tough Mudder/Extreme Endurance
  • OCR World Championship Finalist –  Team & Solo (2015)
  • OCR World Championship Silver Medallist – Team Endurance (2018)
  • Professional film and television stunt performer for 15 years

Considered one of Australia’s foremost experts in the fields of fitness, wellbeing and behavioural science, Richard is frequently in demand as a guest speaker for relevant government and non-
government bodies and organisations. Speaking engagements centred on the success of the Risky Kids program, philosophy and approach have included:

  • Expert speaker/panellist Sports & Camp; Recreation Victoria and Outdoors Victoria forums
  • Closing expert speaker at the Australian Camps Association National Conference
  • Expert speaker at the National Fitness Expo, FILEX