Children in park

Exposure to green spaces can improve children's thinking skills, study finds

October 05, 2018 - 3:45 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Do you take your kids to the park every now and then? Do they have a chance to play games on a green field or spend time hiking with the family? It might be a good idea. 

A study of ten and eleven year olds has found that thinking skills improve more in children with regular exposure to green space.  

The study was quite interesting. Researchers used satellite data to analyze how much nature surrounded selected children on a daily basis. Every three months, the students completed tests of memory and attention. After a year it was found kids who spent more time around plants and trees improved their memories and displayed better focus than those exposed to fewer green spaces. 

Similar studies have  looked at hospital and nursing facilities, and found that those with green spaces, or even artificial gardens, had similar results -- and people actually responded quite well to illness.