In Portland, Oregon trees flock city streets and neighborhoods like nowhere else, which may be a significant boon to our city’s youngest residents. According to a fascinating study, pregnant women who live in homes graced by more trees are significantly less likely to deliver undersized babies. The study points out that while trees fail to affect rates of premature births, overall, a greener natural environment may positively affect pregnancy outcomes. The study, led by author Geoffrey Donovan, a scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland might sound a little far fetched at first, but Donovan points out that so many trees may serve to reduce stress in pregnant women. Really this study is not so unbelievable. Tree research over the years backs up Donovan’s point about stress relief, plus many other studies show that trees offer countless positive benefits for all humans. Kids in particular reap some major benefits from a greener environment.
Beyond a possible better birth outcome, what are some of the other benefits of having plenty of trees around?
- One study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows that trees equal fewer instances of asthma in kids.
- Children living near trees are far more active than children who don’t live near green spaces.
- Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience symptom relief after contact with nature, meaning they can concentrate better, follow directions, and more after being exposed to green areas.
- Little girls who live near trees have better concentration and better self-discipline than girls living in concrete jungles.
- Lastly, all people, but kids included, who lack a connection with nature and trees have a higher risk of all sorts of problems, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, depression and more.
Trees don’t just benefit kids. Trees and green spaces benefit us all. To learn more, read The Benefits Of Trees, then check out some easy ways that you and your kids can reconnect with trees and nature.