Children Who Grow Up Surrounded by Nature Less Likely to Develop Mental Health Issues as Adults

You'll often hear parents complain about children staying cooped up at home and not spending enough time outdoors. But it turns out those parents are right, especially if they want their children to grow up to become healthy adults.

A new study from Denmark says that children who grow up surrounded by nature are less likely to develop mental health issues as adults. Researchers from Aarhus University studied nearly one million Danes over a nearly 30-year span. They said children who grow up around "high amounts of green space" can have a 55 percent lower risk of developing mental health issues. 

There are several factors for why this may be true. The researchers noted that other studies show that noise, air pollution, infections and poor socio-economic conditions can all increase the risk of mental health disorders, and all of those conditions are more likely to be found in urban settings than in places surrounded by nature. They also note that other studies show that places with more green space have more social cohesion and increased physical activity which leads to greater cognitive development for children.

Now it should be noted that this study was only of people from Denmark. So it's possible that results would be different if other countries. But it seems pretty likely that this could be a universal experience.

(h/t Aarhus University)


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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