GRADES K -12 Green Schoolyards Provide Physical and Mental Health Benefits, Research Says

Curriculum Review, November 2017 | Go to article overview

GRADES K -12 Green Schoolyards Provide Physical and Mental Health Benefits, Research Says


More and more research is indicating that access to safe, natural outdoor areas--otherwise known as green schoolyards--improves health including heart health, mental health, weight management, ADHD and stress among children, accordi ng to a recent article in ScienceDaily.com.

But what constitutes a green schoolyard?

Green schoolyards provide a regular, healthy outdoor environment for children to experience and incorporate in their school day.

After school hours, green schoolyards can benefit the entire community by improved health, higher rates of community and family engagement and increased outdoor play and recreation opportunities.

"Green schoolyards can include outdoor classrooms, native gardens, storm water capture, traditional play equipment, vegetable gardens, trails, trees and more," explained Stephen Pont, MD, MPH, FAAP, medical director, Dell Children's Texas Center for the Prevention & Treatment of Childhood Obesity and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UT-Austin Dell Medical School. "And outside of school time, these schoolyards can be open for the surrounding community to use, benefitting everyone."

Research Conducted

An abstract of a study titled, "Green Schoolyards Support Healthy Bodies, Minds and Communities," was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago in September.

In the study, researchers summarized the peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting green schoolyard benefits to academic outcomes, beneficial play, physical activity and mental health. …

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