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Green and blue spaces have beneficial impacts on behavioral development in schoolchildren

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Green and blue spaces have beneficial impacts on behavioral development in schoolchildren

Green spaces have been associated with improved mental health in children. Now researchers from CREAL, an ISGlobal allied centre, confirms that these natural spaces have a beneficial impact on child behavioral development. They generally estimated beneficial associations between behavioral indicators and longer time spent in green spaces and beaches (blue space), and with residential surrounding greenness.

Researchers found that more time spent in green and blue spaces is associated with reduction in a range of behavioural and emotional problems in schoolchildren.
This study was based on a sample of 2,111 schoolchildren (7-10 years) from 36 schools in Barcelona that participates in Breathe BREATHE project. They obtained data on time spent in green spaces and beaches, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) (which aim is to investigate behavioral problems) done by parents, and questionnaires of Attention Deficit Hiperactivity (ADHD/DSM-IV) done by teachers.

Surrounding greenness was abstracted as the average Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in buffers of 100m, 250m, and 500m around each home address. Proximity to green spaces was defined as living within 300m of a major green space (≥0.05 km2). The data on the time spent in green and blue spaces were collected through questionnaires.

Reference: Amoly E, Dadvand P, Forns J, Lopez-Vicente M, Basagaña X, Julvez J, Alvarez-Pedrerol M, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Sunyer J. Green and Blue Spaces and Behavioral Development in Barcelona Schoolchildren: The BREATHE Project.. Environ Health Perspect 2014.


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