The secret to curing asthma and STDs is as easy as going out? The Real Benefits of Getting Your Kids Out There is a growing body of evidence showing the potential benefits.
Children who play outside are in better shape mentally and physically than children who are not. Nature helps kids get the vitamins & exercise they need and can prevent many of the health problems associated with being a drowsy, lethargic child. Nature may not be the best medicine, but science suggests it is more powerful than parents and researchers think.
Studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the most common neurobehavioral disorder in children, suggest some of the strongest evidence for “nature solving.” Assistant Professor Francis E. Klein of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Illinois. In 2004, science showed that exposure to nature reduces STD symptoms in children.
Her study found 452 American children between the ages of 5 and 18. She found that children’s ADHD symptoms were significantly lower than those at home or indoor activities because of general leisure activities in relatively natural outdoor environments, such as indoor or indigenous green spaces. Outdoor ”settings (think: playgrounds). Kuo’s findings were consistent with age, gender, geography and income group, as well as the severity of the diagnosis.
Since Kuo’s unique work, other scientists have carried out studies that show the actual impact of nature on cognitive development and attention in children. Published last year by a longitudinal study from 2003 to 2013, correlates of attention and access to green spaces. While clinical trials have not yet been conducted as a treatment for STDs – and it is unclear what it might be – spending time in nature seems to be inexpensive and free of side effects to help children focus.
Williams is optimistic about research from the Swiss “Forest Scouting” program. Data shows that young children in these programs, which are beginning to find audiences in the United States, are more likely to regulate their emotions, self-comfort, and engage in group activities. There is increasing evidence that the setting may be more important to the curriculum or, on the one hand, an important teaching aid.
But not all the benefits of being exposed to nature are psychological. Fresh air for growing children has concrete and easy-to-understand physical benefits. Research shows that before the industrialization brought about by the Industrial Revolution, some of the privileges that nature had for children 300 years ago were lost.
Take the source of asthma, the most common childhood disease in the world and the suffering of millions. One research in Europe found that growing up on a farm protects you from atomic sensations such as asthma, hay fever, and toothache. Because children are exposed to more microbial compounds (think: soil and farm animals) the immune system. Researchers surveyed more than 3,500 parents of children between the ages of 6 and 13 who live in rural areas of Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. They surveyed both farming and non-farming families. Scientists have shown that children who have been exposed to farm environments for a long time have lower frequencies of asthma, hay fever, and atomic sensitivity.
Another study from Italy in 2014 found that childhood asthma may be linked to vitamin D deficiency. Science has already proven that vitamin D is an essential nutrient derived mainly from sunlight so that our home-centered life can contribute to the development of asthma in our children. And, as several doctors with epidemiological studies already know, a woman’s low vitamin D levels during pregnancy are inversely associated with her baby’s risk of respiratory infections and shortness of breath. The results of the 2014 study suggest a strong association with more research on the topic, and researchers have asked for randomized, double-blind, controlled trials to determine the role of vitamin D in childhood asthma.
short-term solution left for long-term research. Peter Hofmeister, director of the Joint Outdoor Program for High School Students in Eugene, Oregon, has incorporated gardening into his program so that young people can get their hands dirty. “Children who are exposed to more microorganisms have a stronger immune system, but more than the immune system,” says Hofmeister. Let the bears eat them: A brave guide to take our kids outdoors. “It is also shown to improve mood and help with anxiety and depression.”
Suffice it to say that doctors may someday write prescriptions for “go out and play.” Telling kids to go out and play is certainly not new, and the context of the request will change. It is no longer an act of repetition or an easy way for children to get off their feet. Telling children to go out and play is a serious activity. It is difficult for children to have more access to nature than ever before. But it is important not only for the health of children but also for the health of the environment. A 2017 research from the University of British Columbia found that children who play outdoors are more likely to protect nature as adults. Until then, Williams says our children’s relationship with nature begins with us.