Kids Who Have Access To Play In Parks Have Better Mental Health As Adults

children playing in open field

There’s good news for parents who often like to frequent their neighborhood parks with their kid. One study has found that the more time children spend in parks or in residential green spaces, the more likely that they will grow up to be a happy, well-functioning adult later on in their lives.

In a new study by the National Academy of Sciences (in collaboration with the Aarhus University in Denmark), researchers found that green spaces and parks help lower the risk of psychiatric disorders from adolescence into adulthood. The nationwide study, which collected data from more than 900,000 people, showed that children who grew up with very few parks around them had a much higher risk of developing a psychiatric disorder by as much as 55 percent.

Those kids who grew up going to neighborhood parks with their parents or trusted family members and babysitters were less likely to develop a mental condition compared to those who didn’t have the same access to parks.

That’s why the study’s researchers and community developers believe that the presence of green space, and especially for children, is especially important. One of the reasons why there’s a link between green space and mental health is because it not only helped people stay active and physical, but enjoy the benefits of being in the fresh air. This resulted in better health and a reduction in long-term medical costs.

A few other factors that contributed to the findings included socioeconomic factors, parental history of mental illness and parental age. The final results proved that green space during childhood is beneficial to a person’s long-term mental health and that is why so many health professionals urge better efforts to integrate natural environments into urban developmental plans, according to the study.

Many community leaders have often touted the significant of urban parks, as they not only help the environment and increase property values, but they also help improve the physical and psychological health of nearby residents. They also provide numerous recreational benefits, keep children moving, allow parents to enjoy a little fresh air and of course, provide an aesthetic touch to the community.

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