News Center Items by Richard Louv

Air Pollution Kills 100,000 Indian Children Every Year, Study Says

A new study published for World Environment Day found that pollution in India kills more than 100,000 children under five every year. The State of India’s Environment (SoE) Report found air pollution is responsible for 12.5 percent of all deaths in the country. Last year a UN report found 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities were Indian.

Children Who Walk to School Less Likely to Be Overweight or Obese

A new study, led by researchers from the University of Cambridge, found that children who regularly walk or cycle to school are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who travel by car or public transportation.
The results were based on more than 2000 primary-age schoolchildren from across London. Of note is that researchers found that walking or cycling to school is a strong predictor of obesity levels, a result which was consistent across neighborhoods, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Survey: More than 70% of Kids in Urban, Rural Japan Not Playing Outside

Over 70% of Japanese elementary school students surveyed said they do not play outside on weekdays and over 10% say they do not have friends to play with. The survey, conducted by researchers at Chiba University, surveyed both rural and urban-dwelling children.

Thousands of UK Children Connect with Nature Thanks to National Parks Futures

A new national program from UK National Parks and Forest Holidays will help connect over 20,000 young people with nature by supporting their visits to National Parks. Over the next five years ‘National Parks Futures’ aims to help reduce the major barriers to many schools visiting National Parks.

Most Chinese Parents Show Concern for Children’s School Recess

Nearly 90 percent of Chinese parents are concerned about how their children spend recess time, according to a survey released by the China Youth Daily Thursday. As children are not allowed to play outside during break time in many schools, nearly three quarters of parent expressed concern over excessive stress and over half expressed concern for their children’s eyesight.

Duchess Kate Reveals her Back to Nature Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, unveiled a “Back to Nature” garden she helped design at the RHS Chelsea Flower show this week. The Duchess’ garden was created specifically to encourage children to play outside — tying into the focus of her work on how important the early years of life are in childhood development and in setting the stage for a child’s future. The garden, designed by the Duchess and award-winning landscape architects, is a woodland setting for families and communities to come together and connect with nature and includes a swing seat and a high platform tree house, inspired by a bird or animal nest and made from chestnut, with hazel, stag horn oak and larch nest cladding.

Children Living Close to Nature Develop Better Mental and Physical Health

A recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research has found that adults who had close contact with the environment during childhood have better mental health. As part of the study, researchers asked adult participants to answer a questionnaire on their frequency of use of natural spaces during childhood, including purposeful hiking in natural parks- and non-purposeful playing in the backyard. The study is one of the first to explore the impact of childhood exposure to natural environments on mental health and vitality in adulthood.

Washington DC Tops List for City Parks in America

Washington, DC has earned first place in the Trust for Public Land’s 2019 ParkScore® rankings, unseating perennial champion Minneapolis. The city’s improvements in park amenities such as basketball hoops, dog parks, and bathrooms increased its place in the ParkScore ranking. The ParkScore index analyzes the 100 largest U.S. cities based on park access, acreage, amenities, and funding.

When LA’s Air Got Better, Kids’ Asthma Cases Dropped

A study published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at a connection between a decline in pollutants in the air and a decline in cases of asthma in children in Southern California over a 20-year period. Study researchers from the University of Southern California found that as air pollutants declined about 20 percent over the study time period, new cases of asthma in children also declined about a 20 percent.


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