As part of the celebration of BC Parks Day on July 21st, healthcare providers in British Columbia will be leading walks in 100 parks across the province, sharing their knowledge and love of nature. The walks are organized by the group Healthy by Nature. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and BC Parks Foundation are among the co-sponsors of the walks
News Center Items by Cheryl Charles
A recent analysis from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that a more active lifestyle, as well as less pollution, noise and stress may all play a part in cognitive function. For the study, researchers looked at 10 years’ worth of data, following more than 6,500 people living in the United Kingdom between the ages of 45 and 68 years old. Researchers found that mental decline was 4.6 percent less over the 10-year period for people living in the countryside with lots of green space versus urban areas
With more signature parks like NYC’s High Line and Chicago’s 606 in the pipeline across the U.S., park advocates, community groups, and local leaders continue to grapple with related effects such as gentrification and increased housing costs. One response has been a “slow park” movement: pre-emptive community engagement, subsidies and investment in affordable housing, and a focus on keeping the communities benefiting from these public investments from being displaced.
A new report reveals that exposure to green space reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure. Populations with higher levels of green space exposure are also more likely to report good overall health. The research team from the University of East Anglia studied data from 20 countries including the UK, the US, Spain, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.
Living in proximity to green space may reduce the risk of schizophrenia, particularly during childhood. Using satellite images of green spaces in Denmark, a group of Danish researchers from Aarhus University found that people who lived in areas with the least amount of green space faced an increased risk of developing schizophrenia compared to those who lived in areas with the most green space.
The Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth released by the non-profit organization ParticipAction indicates that only 35 percent of five to 17-year-olds and 62 percent of children ages three and four are getting the recommended physical activity. Study authors state that physical activity has profound impacts on kids’ brain health including increased cognitive skills to improved mental health.
Children living in a neighborhood in western Canada have been prohibited from activities such as chalk drawing, bike riding and hockey, after a bylaw was passed banning all outside play from the street. The neighborhood council at a small housing development on Vancouver Island voted to ban the use of roadways for anything other than access to and from the community, for safety reasons.
A historic Mexico City fountain will be transformed into a children’s playground. The playground was the winning design in a competition hosted by Mexico City’s new experimental office for civic innovation and urban creativity. The playground uses wooden ramps and horizontal grids to provide ‘moments of moderate risk which encourages interaction and dynamic play’.