CHILDREN’S performance in the classroom is directly related to the amount of time they spend outside it.
A Barcelona research group has found that pupils’ thinking skills develop faster if they encounter ‘green spaces’, such as parks and woods, on a day-to-day basis.
Green space at school, in particular, was linked to improved brain development among schoolchildren in Spain.
“More green around the school is better for cognitive development and schools should make sure that kids can see and play in green areas,” said researcher Mark Nieuwenhuijsen.
“Existing urban schools should think about replacing concrete or other hard surfaces with green space, just a few trees may even help.”
Researchers tested more than 2,000 students over the course of a year on attentiveness and memory.
Students surrounded by green space improved more than pupils from schools with fewer green areas.
The presence of green space is believed to help mental development due to the reduction in air pollution and background noise, and because it encourages physical activity.