SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first 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.

We are part of The Trust Project.

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
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating COVID patients for at least five days, preferably in a separate room with access to their own bathroom, as well as diligent mask-wearing for both patient and caregiver. But for many families, those aren’t easy options. But take heart: Scientists say there is still a lot people can do to protect their families, chief among them improving ventilation and filtration of the air.
When you have one of those mornings that starts in a frenzy and throws you off your game, you might feel a little off kilter the rest of the day. Those episodes can quickly derail a fitness and healthy eating plan. In this "Health Fusion" column, the Goal Getters Project shares a great tip that may help keep you on track in the morning so you can have a successful day.
Don't be afraid to create a DIY container garden full of flowers. There are no rules! Whatever plants you pick will help brighten your days and lift your mood. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares three tips for a stunning pot of flowers.
It is unclear how much demand is there for the third dose in the 5-11 age group. Just 28.8% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to the latest CDC data.