Natural Play Spaces Make Kids More Active and Less Depressed!

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 interaction.  The interventions were simple and included some sand, brick and bamboo.  These elements drastically improved play outcomes including increased levels of imaginative play and reduce symptoms of depression.  Children were significantly less dependent on their teachers’ interaction during play.

“Depressive symptoms like looking sad or not smiling much went down after the modifications. The videos showed kids much more engaged in play and engaged in positive ways with each other,” said co-researcher Mariana Brussoni, an associate professor in UBC’s school of population and public health and paediatrics, and a scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Image by Nature Play WA

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Influence of the day care, home and neighbourhood environment on young children's physical activity and health: protocol for the PLAYCE observational study.

9 Apr 2018

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23 May 2018

In this Review, I present evidence supporting a multifactorial causation of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a major subtype of paediatric cancer. ALL evolves in two discrete steps. First, in utero initiation by fusion gene formation or hyperdiploidy generates a covert, pre-leukaemic c…

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15 May 2018

Objective: The authors examined the prospective relationship between physical activity and incident depression and explored potential moderators. Method: Prospective cohort studies evaluating incident depression were searched from database inception through Oct. 18, 2017, on PubMed, PsycINF…

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Vegetation diversity protects against childhood asthma: results from a large New Zealand birth cohort

8 May 2018

We assessed the association between the natural environment and asthma in 49,956 New Zealand children born in 1998 and followed up until 2016 using routinely collected data. Children who lived in greener areas, as measured by the normalized difference vegetation index, were less likely to be asthmat…

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Will they leave what they find? The efficacy of a Leave No Trace education program for youth.

9 Apr 2018

The authors explored the influences of a youth-focused Leave No Trace educational program on participants’ attitudes, behaviors, and nature connectedness. The study employed an experimental, equivalent control-group design and included survey and direct observation measures. Pretest and postte…

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Green writing: the influence of natural spaces on primary students’ poetic writing in the UK and Australia

15 Mar 2018

This paper draws on findings of comparative international research on students’ poetic writing about the natural environment in the context of the classroom and a naturalistic setting. The study involved 97, nine- to 10-year-olds in four classes: two classes were in an English primary school w…

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