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Nature - Just What the Doctor Ordered

Date: 25-Jul-12

Planting Trees Report © Zo Zhou

Although 89% of parents and teachers agree that contact with nature has many benefits for kids’ wellbeing they don’t appear to know what those benefits are. New research titled Planting Trees – Just What The Doctor Ordered by Planet Ark and sponsored by Toyota shows contact with nature can have a wide range of positive health and wellbeing benefits for kids.

These benefits include:

  • Positive mental health outcomes, such as reduced symptoms and severity of ADHD, reduced stress levels, reduced depression, and increased confidence and self esteem;
  • Physical health benefits, such as reduced risks of obesity and myopia, and improved recovery from certain medical conditions;
  • Enhanced intellectual development, such as improved creativity and imagination, and improved academic performance;
  • A stronger sense of concern and care for the environment in later life.

The report brings together new research about the attitudes of carers as well as research from around the world, and shows that just 30 minutes of green time a day can help deliver benefits. One Sydney study shows that time spent outdoors helps reduce myopia in kids while others show a relationship between time outdoors and weight.  

Planting Trees – Just What The Doctor Ordered is important for anyone who looks after children. It provides valuable information on ways to structure green time and get the benefits of contact with nature while recognising that the modern world is a fast changing place.

You can download the Full Report or a shorter Key Findings Edition.

Want to help promote a healthier environment for our kids? Send a link to this page to other parents and teachers who might be interested or share the link to the report on Facebook, Twitter or your blog.

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