Study: outdoor play improves the mental health of children

Samar Samir

Posted on: Sunday 12th July 2020 – 12:55 pm | Last update: Sunday 12 July 2020 – 12:55 PM

Mark Penden, professor of environmental and occupational health and director of the Center for Work Environment at Texas A&M University, stressed the importance of outdoor play for children’s mental health and well-being, which makes minds healthier and happier, according to the Pentagon Play website.

According to the OPENspace Research Center of the Open University, there is significant evidence confirming that the time children spend in the air of nature outdoors increases the life expectancy, improves well-being, reduces symptoms of depression and increases the child’s ability to work in school, in addition to improving physical health.

And teachers noticed, more focus, better ability to learn, increase productivity, better behavior and foster more positive relationships, when children are more active and spend more time outside during the day.

The presence of children in the open air, gives them a feeling of freedom in the open space and brings with him a feeling of happiness and luxury.

And a study by the American Medical Association showed that “children will be more intelligent, more able to coexist with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unorganized play in the open air, because the presence of children in the open air is good for their social and emotional development, And improving their mental health and psychological and emotional well-being, exposure to nature has a calming effect on children, and can reduce hyperactivity, especially in those with ADHD.

Biology also plays its role all the time, since being outside in natural sunlight allows our bodies to naturally produce vitamin D, which releases the neurotransmitter “serotonin” in the brain; It helps to regulate emotion and mood and is associated with happiness and comfort from depression.

A recent study in the UK found that only five minutes of exercise in a natural outdoor environment can quickly improve self-esteem, mental health and wellbeing amongst young adults. Academic pressures, crowded urban areas, and flashing screens all have some effect and can lead to Anxiety, and while this may be an inevitable part of life, it is important to find a balance between being exposed to these environments and ensuring that children have more and more time outside.

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