Why explore nature with your ECEC group? Exposure to neighborhood green space during childhood may have a protective effect on mental health as an adult.
We reblog this research update, written by science writer Meeri Kim and published on the BOLD blog.
Although more than half of the world’s population live in cities, urban living has been linked to various adverse health outcomes. Studies have shown that the rates of mental illnesses like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression are generally higher in cities as compared to rural areas. In addition, individuals who spent more years in an urban environment as a child had a greater risk of developing schizophrenia as an adult.
Kristine Engemann, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Bioscience at Denmark’s Aarhus University, wanted to explore whether the opposite was true as well. As a lifelong nature lover, she wondered if being surrounded by more nature during childhood could lower a person’s risk of mental illness in the future. Such findings could emphasize the health benefits of integrating more residential green space into urban planning.