Research

Research into the importance of nature play, learning outdoors, risk-taking and children's mental and physical health and wellbeing forms the basis for the work we do.

Here you'll find the latest scientific research that shows the benefits of nature play for our children!

Use the Search function, or click on a keyword in Resource Categories to find research about a particular subject.

Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls: Tackling teenage disengagement

The Women in Sport Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls insight showed the need to engage girls in more active lifestyles has never been more urgent. This generation of teenage girls are experiencing worrying mental health issues and report being less confident, less happy and increasingly concerned with their appearance[1]. The pandemic has amplified these issues for many girls.

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Physical environmental opportunities for active play and physical activity level in preschoolers: a multicriteria analysis

Physical environmental opportunities for active play have a positive effect on physical activity in preschoolers and should be encouraged in different social segments.

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People’s desire to be in nature and how they experience it are partially heritable

Abstract Nature experiences have been linked to mental and physical health. Despite the importance of understanding what determines individual variation in nature experience, the role of genes has been overlooked. Here, using a twin design (TwinsUK, number of individuals = 2,306), we investigate the genetic and environmental contributions to a person’s nature orientation, opportunity (living […]

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Multisite greenness exposure and oxidative stress in children. The potential mediating role of physical activity

Residential greenness exposure has been reported to positively impact health mainly by reducing overweight/obesity risk, improving mental health and physical activity.

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Commissioner for Children and Young People Speaking Out Survey 2021

In the Commissioner’s second Speaking Out Survey, 16,532 children and young people from all regions of WA shared their experiences and views on safety, mental health, engagement in education, connection to community and how they access sources of support. The findings will be valuable for anyone working with children and young people, across both government […]

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Most People Hate Physical Education and Most Drop Out of Physical Activity: In Search of Credible Curriculum Alternatives

High quality Physical Education should instigate and support all learners to develop into a lifelong participant in a way which upkeeps their own health, fitness, and well-being. There are, however, an ever-increasing number of children who drop out of participating in physical activities at the earliest opportunity, leading to an increase in sedentary lifestyles and a rise in childhood obesity.

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Assessing the association between lifetime exposure to greenspace and early childhood development and the mediation effects of air pollution and noise in Canada: a population-based birth cohort study

Summary Background Exposure to greenspace is associated with improved childhood development, but the pathways behind this relationship are insufficiently understood. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between lifetime residential exposure to greenspace and early childhood development and evaluate the extent to which this association is mediated by reductions in traffic-related air pollution and noise. […]

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Physical activity and active recreation before and during COVID-19: The Our Life at Home study

Lockdown restrictions had different effects on physical activity and active recreation among age groups and by sex. Physical activity promotion strategies that target children and adolescents, at home physical activity options, active neighbourhoods, and (re)engagement in informal sport and recreational activities post-COVID-19 are critical for (re)engaging Australians in health-enhancing behaviours.

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Nature and Children’s Health: A Systematic Review

Abstract CONTEXT Daily outdoor play is encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Existing evidence is unclear on the independent effect of nature exposures on child health. OBJECTIVE We systematically evaluated evidence regarding the relationship between nature contact and children’s health. DATA SOURCES The database search was conducted by using PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing […]

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The physical characteristics of children’s preferred natural settings in Australian primary school grounds

Highlights •Children express interest in plant species that offer affordances to their play. •Children prefer the natural settings located along the edges of main play spaces. •The boundaries around the natural settings influence children’s play types in them. •Children are sensitive to the condition of plants and prefer them well-maintained. •Children do not often experience […]

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