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!

Social media, nature, and life satisfaction: global evidence of the biophilia hypothesis

11 Mar 2020

Humans may have evolved a need to connect with nature, and nature provides substantial cultural and social values to humans. However, quantifying the connection between humans and nature at a global scale remains challenging. We lack answers to fundamental questions: how do humans experience nature…

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Parental Screen Use and Effect on Children - Association of Parental and Contextual Stressors With Child Screen Exposure and Child Screen Exposure Combined With Feeding

13 Feb 2020

Key Points Question  Are individual and contextual stressors associated with the use and duration of screen time and screen time combined with food in children aged 7 to 18 months? Findings  In this cross-sectional, population-based study of 1085 children, higher levels of parenting…

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Infant and Adult Brains Are Coupled to the Dynamics of Natural Communication

29 Jan 2020

Infancy is the foundational period for learning from adults, and the dynamics of the social environment have long been considered central to children’s development. Here, we reveal a novel, naturalistic approach for studying live interactions between infants and adults. Using functional near-i…

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Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children

7 Jan 2020

BACKGROUND The Amish and Hutterites are U.S. agricultural populations whose lifestyles are remarkably similar in many respects but whose farming practices, in particular, are distinct; the former follow traditional farming practices whereas the latter use industrialized farming practices. The pop…

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Girls who are more physically active in childhood may have better lung function in adolescence

30 Jul 2019

Physical activity has many well-known health benefits, but its association with lung function in childhood and adolescence is not well understood. A new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by "la Caixa," has for the first time demonstrated an a…

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Associations of extracurricular physical activity patterns and body composition components in a multi-ethnic population of UK children (the Size and Lung Function in Children study): a multilevel modelling analysis

18 Jun 2019

Abstract: Background Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common outcome when assessing associations between childhood overweight and obesity and physical activity patterns. However, the fat and fat-free components of BMI, measured by the Fat Mass Index (FMI) and Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI), may show con…

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The role of shape and specificity in young children's object substitution

14 Jun 2019

Abstract Children often substitute one object for another during play. They may substitute a stick for a sword or a box for a car, often favouring substitutes that are shaped like the needed object. The current study looked at the roles of shape and specificity, the degree to which a possible sub…

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Pop-up parks deliver big benefits in small spaces

3 Jun 2019

Summary: 'Pop-up parks' represent one possible means to help meet the demands of urbanites for more opportunities to connect with nature in their neighborhoods, serve important conservation functions by providing small-scale habitat refuges for a wide variety of threatened plants and animal…

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Neighbourhoods for Active Kids: study protocol for a cross-sectional examination of neighbourhood features and children's physical activity, active travel, independent mobility and body size

20 May 2019

Abstract Introduction New Zealand children's physical activity, including independent mobility and active travel, has declined markedly over recent decades. The Neighbourhoods for Active Kids (NfAK) study examines how neighbourhood built environments are associated with the independent m…

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Residential green space in childhood is associated with lower risk of psychiatric disorders from adolescence into adulthood

12 Mar 2019

Urban residence is associated with a higher risk of some psychiatric disorders, but the underlying drivers remain unknown. There is increasing evidence that the level of exposure to natural environments impacts mental health, but few large-scale epidemiological studies have assessed the general exis…

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