Bidding goodbye to the days of playgrounds for children and teenagers to release their energy and keeping them distracted with tech-packed devices and video-games might be a dangerous step for your child’s mental health, a recent study out of the University of South Carolina has shown.

The longitudinal study examined the association between green space in residential urban neighborhoods and aggressive behaviors for 1287 participants in Los Angeles. The behaviors of participants, all born between 1990 and 1995, were examined between 2000 and 2012.

“Our novel findings support the benefits of neighborhood green space in reducing aggressive behaviors of urban-dwelling adolescents,” the study conclusion reads. “Community-based interventions are needed to determine the efficacy of green space as a preemptive strategy to reduce aggressive behaviors in urban environments.”

The study revealed that those exposed to green space within 1, 000 meters of their residential surroundings are less aggressive.

“Sociodemographic factors (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status) and neighborhood quality did not confound or modify these associations, and the benefits remained after accounting for temperature,” the researchers add.

A similar study was conducted by the University of Exeter for adults. The study, which included 10, 000 adults, showed that those living in greener areas are less likely to be distressed.

According to the World Health Organization, the availability, accessibility, quality, and security of public green spaces in cities will notably vary within the coming years, while prescribing a minimum of 9 square meters of green space per capita for mental, physical and environmental health.


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