How much green space do your kids have in their lives?
Time Magazine's Dec. 8 issue has an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who also anchors CNN's Fit Nation, on how the amount of green space available in kids' neighborhoods has a direct effect on their health and well-being.
The research, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found that city kids who had more green space in their neighborhoods
gained about 13% less weight over two years than kids who had less green space. The difference in environment appears to affect both body and mind, Supta writes.
"At its most straightforward, a green neighborhood simply means more places for kids to play -- which is vital since time spent outdoors is one o fhte strongest correlates of children's activity levels. But green space is good for the mind, too; research by environmental psychologists has shown that it has cognifitive benefits for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In one study, simply reading otusie in a green setting improved kids' symptoms."
There are surely a lot of aspects to these findings. Kids run and play in a park, probably for longer distance and duration than they might in the back yard. They socialize with one another, and negotiate such things as time on the swings or whose turn comes next. They are spending time in nature, surrounded by trees and grass and squirrels, which gives them a sense of the world outside of their own homes and school. And they have access to play equipment that makes the park a special place. (Wouldn't it be great if we could feel the same way about the gym in adulthood?)
Here's a link to the full article:
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