New Studies Show More Nature Equals Less Stress for Children!

On Monday February 25, the journal PNAS  published a study that  details what the scientists say is the largest investigation of the association between green spaces and mental health. According to the study, conducted by researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark:

Growing up near vegetation is associated with an up to 55 percent lower risk of mental health disorders in adulthood.

The scale of the study which used data going back as far as 1985, confirms that a greener childhood associated with happier adulthood.

Last month, another study by The University of Hong Kong also proves connecting children to nature brings less distress, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. According to the study, sixteen percent of preschoolers in Hong Kong and up to 22 percent in China show signs of mental health problems. The city lifestyle has been long been criticized as a key reason that our children are disconnected from nature. This has led to an unhealthy lifestyle in regard to active play and eating habits. Even worse, many young children do not feel well psychologically—they are often stressed and depressed.

Again and again we are reminded of the positive benefits of being outdoors and to have a cautioned approach towards screens/phones. Nature is good for kids! This research reinforces that spending time in nature brings a plethora of health benefits ranging from reduced to stress to boosted immunity that flows over to adulthood. And now, many environmental programmes around the world are getting involved to help decrease the conditions of nature-deficit and child-nature disconnectedness and improve children's health. British doctors even advise leaving phones outside the kids bedrooms, and suggest screen-free meals are a good idea.

So, when in doubt, get outside.

Oskar Elmgart