Here’s another reason for parents to buy a house surrounded by parks, sports fields, woods and natural meadows, as it may be beneficial for the development of their kids brain, suggests a recent study. According to Barcelona Institute For Global Health (ISGLOBAL) researchers, natural surroundings, including green spaces, is likely to boost the development of children’s brain. A previous study has already indicated that green spaces within and surrounding schools could enhance cognitive development in children between 7 and 10 years of age. The authors of the current study explained the impact of greenness surrounding the residences of children since birth and characterising cognitive development at earlier stages in life. The team analysed 1,500 children of the INMA – Environment and Childhood Project cohort in Sabadell and Valencia, collected between 2003 and 2013. They analysed residential surrounding greenness – at 100, 300 and 500 metres distance- at birth, four-five years and seven years of age. Two types of attention tests were performed at four-five and seven years of age.The findings indicated that the children with higher greenness around their homes had better scores in the attention tests. First study author Payam Dadvand from ISGlobal claimed that this is the first time that the impact of lifelong residential exposure to green spaces on attention capacity in children has been studied. These results underline the importance of green areas in cities for children’s health and brain development, Dadvand explained. Study coordinator Jordi Sunyer pointed out the possibility that exposure to different types of vegetation might have different impacts on neurodevelopment remains an open question. “Green spaces in cities promote social connections and physical activity and reduce exposure to air pollution and noise, and are therefore essential for the development of the future generations’ brains,” Sunyer added. The research appears in Environment Health Perspectives journal.
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