According to a recent study, growing up in an environment rich in green spaces would be beneficial for the brain development of children.
A new study published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrates the positive impact of green spaces on children’s brain development. Indeed, children who grew up surrounded by greenery would for example have a better memory and a greater attention span. The study focused on the brain development of 253 Spanish schoolchildren from Barcelona. After collecting various information about the children (place of residence, place of birth, etc.), the researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain studied the anatomy of their brains through imaging by high resolution magnetic resonance. The children’s memory and attention skills were also assessed using computerized tests.
By analyzing the data obtained, scientists have found that long-term exposure to green spaces is associated with a higher volume of white matter and gray matter, in areas of the brain that are very similar to those associated with better results in cognitive tests.
“This is the first study to evaluate the association between long-term exposure to green spaces and brain structure, and our results suggest that exposure to green spaces early in life could lead to beneficial structural changes in the brain,” says Dr. Payam Dadvand, lead author of the study.
According to the researchers, contact with nature is essential for brain development in children. Children raised near green areas would also be much more attentive and have a better memory. “The study adds to this evidence that early exposure to green spaces can have measurable and lasting effects on health throughout our lives,” said Michael Jerrett, co-author of the study. So we only have one thing left to do: to quickly go green!