SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99 ¢/month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Health Fusion: Huge study shows kids need nature for good health

When kids live near nature, their minds and bodies thrive. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams reports on a huge review study about how all kids need access to greenspace.

What is it about trees, bodies of water and greenspace that captivate us? Many studies have shown that exposure to nature helps reduce stress and boosts happiness.

A review of nearly 300 studies shows that living or going to school close to nature is strongly associated with an improved physical and mental health status of kids. The researchers from Washington State University say that the benefits of exposure to nature may be more pronounced for kids from historically marginalized communities.

“Access to nature – and the benefits that come with it – are a necessity, not a nicety," says Dr. Amber Fyfe-Johnson, the lead author of the study. "Unfortunately, not all kids are able to have regular nature contact. This is due partly to urbanization, increased screen time and more sedentary indoor lifestyles.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends outdoor playtime, but the researchers note that not all outdoor space is equal -- a parking lot is not a meadow and urban playground is not a garden.

They say additional studies with strong evidence about the benefits of nature are needed to turn recommendations into public policy promoting equitable nature contact for kids where they live, learn and play. That prior research suggests greenspace may greatly help disadvantaged populations by counteracting some of the toxic effects of poverty.

ADVERTISEMENT

This research is published in the journal Pediatrics.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

Health_Fusion-1400x1400-Sponsor.jpg
Health Fusion logo Sponsor 1400x1400

What to read next
An injection of your own fat into the sole of your foot may help plantar fasciitis pain. In this episode of NewsMD's Health Fusion, Viv Williams checks out the details of a new study.
The federal government has mandated 100% staff vaccination in order to receive Medicaid or Medicare funds. That draws closer as 100% of nursing home staff must have their first dose on Thursday, Jan. 27. The state nursing home member association believes 30-35 facilities could face loss of federal funding at the final deadline in March.
Wednesday marked the second day state health officials have reported a daily decline in active cases of COVID-19, or the number of newly reported cases compared to new recoveries.
The state health department on Wednesday, Jan. 26, reported 1,553 hospitalizations and 15,572 new cases of COVID-19.