Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
Nature helps you learn...
When students can see nature (like trees and shrubs) from school windows they do better on standardized tests. Source
Just a 20-minute walk in nature can help kids with ADHD concentrate better. Source
Spending time in the open air and learning outside increases student’s ability to think creatively and improves problem-solving skills. Source
Students who play and learn in outdoor settings perform better on tests and have higher grade point averages. Source
Nature makes you healthier...
Evidence suggests that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts. Specifically, that it leads to reduction in stress and behavioral problems in children, as well as positively affects blood pressure and cholesterol levels in children. Source
Children living within 2/3 mile of a park with a playground can be five times more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Source
Research on childhood obesity suggests the more nature (such as trees, grass and gardens) in a neighborhood, the less obesity. Source
Nature helps you be successful...
Having views of natural features (like trees and shrubs) from school leads to a reduction in stress and mental fatigue in students. Source
Exercise in outdoor natural environments provides all-around health benefits, including stress reduction and improvement in mood and self-esteem. Source
Research shows that children with ADHD symptoms showed a definite behavioral improvement in outdoor settings (even when their symptoms had not responded to medication). and that even a little time outdoors can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Source and Source
Exposure to nature can reduce children’s stress levels by as much as 28 percent. Source
One urban LA school saw science test scores rise sixfold after replacing concrete play area with native plants. Source
Studies indicate that nature play can increase children's negotiation, conflict-resolution and other important life skills. Source
Nature boosts creativity. Participants in one study scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after four days in nature and away from smartphones and laptops. Source
And when our kids spend time in nature, it's not only good for them, it's ultimately good for our planet. Evidence suggests that if children grow up interacting with nature, they are more likely to develop a conservation ethic, volunteer, recycle and participate in outdoor recreation as an adult. Source
And for more information on the benefits of nature for kids and resources to get outside, visit The National Environmental Education Foundation's Children and Nature Initiative.
Join our community. Click the link on the upper left-hand side of this page to receive our monthly newsletter with new featured activities and information from Nature Rocks, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page.