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News Center Items by Richard Louv

Eye-opening Study Links Outdoor Play to Staving Off Short-sightedness

A new study carried out by researchers at Technological University Dublin recommends that children spend at least two hours every day outdoors in daylight to combat a global increase in short-sightedness. The Ireland Eye Study is the first of its kind to be carried out in Ireland and confirms that short-sightedness, once believed to be a genetic condition, is influenced by a person’s environment.

How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

A new study from the UK finds that people who spent at least 120 minutes a week in nature saw a boost in their mental and physical health, compared to people who didn’t spend any time in nature. The researchers, who surveyed more than 19,000 people in the United Kingdom about the recreational time they spent in nature during the past week, along with their self-reported health and well-being, say the size of the health benefits was similar to what people would get by meeting the guidelines for physical activity.

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s Donating 55,000 Rods and Reels to Children Nationwide

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are donating 55,000 rods and reels to children nationwide to encourage them to get outdoors this summer. The company says it wants to challenge families to put down their digital devices and get outside to discover the joy of fishing. Bass Pro Shops will donate the rods and reels to nonprofit organizations that help children.

Poor Work-life Balance Leaves Women Without Time to Enjoy Nature, Poll Claims

Almost half of British women do not have enough time to enjoy nature, according to a new poll. Only half of the 2,000 women polled had managed to take a walk in the countryside or visit a park in the previous six months. The women surveyed cited hectic workloads and busy family lives as reasons why they did not experience enough of the outdoors.

In Scotland, Outdoor Play Gets Funding Boost

An anonymous donation will fund outdoor preschools in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Scotland. The funding is intended to give Scottish children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to spend their preschool years learning outside. This new private funding is a testament to a growing movement in Scotland to embrace outdoor learning and of a deepening understanding of the physical, mental, social and emotional benefits of playing outside from an early age.

Houston Mayor Announces Park Plan

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a plan aimed at drawing private investment to city parks in underserved areas. Turner’s “50-for-50″ plan aimed at revitalizing city parks “primarily in communities that have been underserved.” Under the plan, 50 companies would each “partner” with a city park, volunteering to “take ownership” of the park and maintain it for about five years.

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.

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