Living near a park, forest or other green space may protect your children’s mental health later in life, a new Danish study suggests.
Children who grow up in these natural surroundings have up to a 55 percent lower risk of developing a mental disorder as an adult, researchers found.
Further, the protective effect grows stronger with more years spent living near nature, said lead researcher Kristine Engemann, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark.
“We found that association was stronger when we calculated a cumulative measure of green space from birth to age 10 compared to measuring green space at one single year,” Engemann said. “This indicates that the positive association builds up over time, and that being exposed to green space throughout childhood is important.”