Ziv and Doley studied ways to reduce playground bullying among 6th graders. They found that when calming, new age type music was played on playgrounds, children were bullied less by other children: “Results showed significantly reduced bullying occurrence, lower arousal levels, and higher enjoyment of recess when music was played. Bullying occurrence increased on the third week [when music was no longer played], though it remained lower than on the first week [when no music was played; music was only played during week 2].
Research by ophthalmologists indicates that when children spend time outdoors at recess, they are less likely to be nearsighted. As the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports, “when children are required to spend recess time outdoors, their risk of nearsightedness is reduced.” Design that encourages outdoor recess is important because nearsightedness is “near[ing] epidemic status in Asia and other regions, primarily in developed countries. In the United States nearsightedness has increased by more than 65 percent since 1970.
Dawn Coe and Cary Springer have confirmed the benefits of incorporating natural elements into children’s play spaces.
Researchers have investigated the design of environments that promote children’s health, from pediatric hospitals to neighborhood streets to play areas.
Childhood obesity is a significant public health issue in many communities.
Another benefit to children of being outdoors has been identified – that time outside seems to improve their vision.
Hinds and Sparks present a nuanced assessment of people’s responses to natural environments.
Morgan reviews the research supporting therapeutic uses of nature and discusses several recent projects that have put the resulting scientific findings to good use.
Frances (Ming) Kuo and Andrea Faber Taylor at the University of Illinois continue their research on the beneficial effects of time in nature for children with ADD and ADHD.
Miss the conference? Here are some highlights.