Research

Check out some of the research on the benefits of unstructured outdoor play. We'll continue to add new articles so it's worth coming back to this page from time to time!

Daily touchscreen use in infants and toddlers is associated with reduced sleep and delayed sleep onset

20 Sep 2017

Abstract: Traditional screen time (e.g. TV and videogaming) has been linked to sleep problems and poorer developmental outcomes in children. With the advent of portable touchscreen devices, this association may be extending down in age to disrupt the sleep of infants and toddlers, an age when sle…

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Green schoolyards offer physical and mental health benefits for children

15 Sep 2017

CHICAGO - A growing body of evidence supports the claim that access to safe, natural areas improves health across a wide variety of areas, including heart health, mental health, weight management, ADHD, and stress among children. A concept gaining momentum in this realm is green schoolyards. But wha…

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Handheld screen time linked with speech delays in young children

11 May 2017

SAN FRANCISCO - As the number of smart phones, tablets, electronic games and other handheld screens in U.S. homes continues to grow, some children begin using these devices before beginning to talk. New research being presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggests these children…

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Exploring the Relations Between Childhood Experiences in Nature and Young Adults’ Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours

31 Mar 2017

This article presents the findings of a research study with young adults who explored the connections between their early childhood experiences in nature and their attitudes and actions towards the environment in adulthood. Drawing on E. Wilson's (1984) work, environmental or ecological consciou…

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Nature For Health and Equity

22 Mar 2017

Europeans face health and social challenges that merit urgent attention – obesity, mental health problems, social exclusion, air and noise pollution, and heat stress in cities. These issues particularly affect socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and put pressure on already s…

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Kids' risk of diabetes rises with too much screen time - Screen time is associated with adiposity and insulin resistance in children

15 Mar 2017

Abstract Background Higher screen time is associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk in adults, but the association with T2D risk markers in children is unclear. We examined associations between self-reported screen time and T2D risk markers in children. Methods Survey of 4495 childr…

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Parental fear: a barrier to the independent mobility of children

14 Mar 2017

Children who are able to play and travel without an adult and those who walk or cycle to school are more likely to meet Australian physical activity guidelines, according to findings from research that investigated the role that parental fear plays in shaping children’s independence and physic…

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7Cs 'an informational guide to young children's outdoor play spaces'

29 Apr 2016

This informational guide is a fantastic resource for any parents, care centres or community groups looking to create a nature play space for their children.  Full of simple and straightforward advice this document can be used as a guide to assist with design of play spaces to ensure children ga…

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Natural Play Spaces Make Kids More Active and Less Depressed!

26 Apr 2016

A study completed in 2014 by UBC observed children playing in their care centre play space before and after the space was upgraded with nature play elements. Before the intervention children were seen to be displaying depressive behaviours and where dependent on teachers interactio…

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Neighborhood Greenspace and Health in a Large Urban Center

19 Feb 2016

Abstract, provided by author: Studies have shown that natural environments can enhance health and here we build upon that work by examining the associations between comprehensive greenspace metrics and health. We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two dom…

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