In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of living near green spaces became particularly obvious when people were looking for safe spaces outside their homes.
In Philadelphia, Fairmont Park and Wesahiken Valley Parks are often crowded with people of all ages seeking urgently-needed recreation. But living near these places does more than benefit during a public health crisis.
A kind New researchResearch published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability found that children in urban environments will have better mental health and cognitive development if they live near woodland and participate in it every day. Researchers also found that they have a lower risk of emotional and behavioral problems.
The more daily contact with woodland, the higher the cognitive score and the 17% reduction in the risk of emotional and behavioral problems. Researchers Say. It also contributes to the overall development of the child.
One possible explanation for this association is that children’s audiovisual experience through abundant vegetation and animals may bring psychological benefits. Mikaël Maes, the lead author of the study, tell us.
Nevertheless, Mace emphasized that they did not find The causal relationship between woodland exposure and better mental health.
“At present, the mechanism by which humans obtain mental health or cognitive benefits from natural exposure is unclear,” Metz said. “Scientific research on the effects of human senses is the key to establishing causality.”
Researcher research Over a period of four years, 3,568 children aged 9-15 in 31 schools in London studied the links between green space exposure and mental health, cognitive development, and overall well-being. They use vegetation satellite data to calculate the daily exposure of children to woodland within different distances from home and school.
The study did not find any mental health links with blue spaces such as rivers and lakes, but the children in the study usually rarely touch water bodies.
Other studies have also emphasized the benefits of green space for mental health.
A kind Learn A study published in 2015 found that people who walk in nature report that they experience fewer negative thoughts.other Learn It was found that spending at least two hours a week in woodland can provide a positive boost for physical and mental health.
Latest research hypothesis Living or going to school near green spaces means more exposure to green spaces, which the researchers admit may not always be true.
In addition, the parents of more than half of the participants were engaged in managerial or professional work, which meant that children from other socioeconomic groups were underrepresented in the research. The researchers said that children with special education may also respond differently from the children who participated in the study.