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.

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

Abstract 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 […]

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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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Dose-dependent and joint associations between screen time, physical activity, and mental wellbeing in adolescents: an international observational study

Summary Background Mental wellbeing in adolescents has declined considerably during past decades, making the identification of modifiable risk factors important. Prolonged screen time and insufficient physical activity appear to operate independently and synergistically to increase the risk of poor mental wellbeing in school-aged children. We aimed to examine the gender-stratified dose-dependent and joint associations of […]

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Benefit of woodland and other natural environments for adolescents’ cognition and mental health

Abstract Epidemiological studies have established positive associations of urban nature with cognitive development and mental health. However, why specifically these health benefits are received remains unclear, especially in adolescents. We used longitudinal data in a cohort of 3,568 adolescents aged 9 to 15 years at 31 schools across London, UK, to examine the associations between […]

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Exposure to electronic media was negatively associated with speech and language development at 18 and 24 months

Abstract Aim This study evaluated early speech and language development at 18 and 24 months, and associated factors, based on parental reports. Method We followed up the CHILD-SLEEP birth cohort of 1667 Finnish-speaking families, who were randomly recruited in 2011–2013 during routine visits to maternity clinics in the Pirkanmaa Hospital District of Finland. The women were […]

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Children’s Play and Independent Mobility in 2020: Results from the British Children’s Play Survey

The British Children’s Play Survey was conducted in April 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 1919 parents/caregivers with a child aged 5–11 years. Respondents completed a range of measures focused on children’s play, independent mobility and adult tolerance of and attitudes towards risk in play.

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