- Leafy surroundings make children perform better and faster in attention tests
- Green spaces may boost attentiveness by promoting social interactions
- They also encourage physical activity, and reduce pollution and noise exposure
- Parks may directly impact the development of young brains, but this is unclear
- Researchers from The Barcelona Institute for Global Health conducted the study
Growing up near a park boosts children’s attention spans, new research reveals.
Children perform better and faster in attentiveness tests if they live in leafy areas, the first study of its kind found.
Study author Dr Payam Dadvand from The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, said: ‘Green spaces in cities promote social connections and physical activity and reduce exposure to air pollution and noise, and are therefore essential for the development of future generations’ brains.’
Leafy surroundings may also directly impact the development of youngsters’ brains, the researchers add.
Further investigation into how countryside living benefits children’s attentiveness is required, the researchers said.
Growing up near a park boosts children’s attention spans, new research reveals (stock)
WORKING WOMEN ARE LESS LIKELY TO HAVE OBESE CHILDREN (…DEPENDING ON THEIR HOURS)
Working women are less likely to have obese children – but only if they are in the office for under 24 hours a week, research suggested earlier this month.
Yet, youngsters aged between three and four years old are more at-risk of obesity if their mothers work for more than 35 hours a week, a study by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center found.
Those aged between eight and 14 are less likely to carry excess weight if their mothers work 35-to-40 hours a week, the research adds.
It is unclear why obesity risk varies according to differences in children’s ages and their mother’s working hours, however, the researchers believe seeing less of their parents may be detrimental for some, while others could benefit from the financial and ‘psychological’ advantages.
The World Health Organization estimates 42 million children around the world are overweight or obese, putting them at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
How the research was carried out
The researchers analysed 1,500 children at birth, four-to-five years old and seven years old between 2003 and 2013.
They used satellite images to assess the degree of vegetation within 100, 300 and 500 metres of the study’s participants’ homes.
The participants completed two online attentiveness assessments.
‘Green spaces in cities promote social connection’
Growing up near a park improves youngsters’ attention spans.
Children are less likely to make mistakes in attentiveness tests and have faster reaction times if they live in leafy areas.
Dr Dadvand said: ‘Green spaces in cities promote social connections and physical activity and reduce exposure to air pollution and noise, and are therefore essential for the development of future generations’ brains.’
Green areas may directly impact children’s brains’ development, however, this requires further investigation, the researchers add.
The findings were published in the journal Environment Health Perspectives.