Growing Up Green

A recent study this week has published that being surrounded by green space in childhood may improve mental health of adults. It has been found that children who grow up with greener surroundings have up to 55% less risk of developing various mental disorders later in life. The study from Aarhus University, Denmark, shows that children surrounded by the high amounts of green space in childhood have up to a 55% lower risk of developing a mental disorder—even after adjusting for other known risk factors such as socio-economic status, urbanisation, and the family history of mental disorders. Researchers have found that, for example, noise, air pollution, infections and poor socio-economic conditions increase the risk of developing a mental disorder. Conversely, other studies have shown that more green space in the local area creates greater social cohesion and increases people’s physical activity level and that it can improve children’s cognitive development. These are all factors that may have an impact on people’s mental health. We all know how happy we have been feeling in this spring weather enjoying the sunshine, but just going to school in this naturally green environment can also have long lasting effects.
Kirsten Knight

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