Being surrounded by nature can have a calming effect on adults, but recent studies have shown that it can have an even more powerful and lasting effect on children.
According to one study, children who spend their time among trees and in green surroundings are more likely to become mentally healthy in adulthood.
The Danish scientists who authored the study discovered that growing up near vegetation can lead to a 55 percent lower risk of having mental disorders as an adult.
According to the study's lead scientist, Kristine Engemann, who spoke to NPR, they arrived at their findings by taking satellite imagery over four decades and analyzing data about Danish people's health.
With the rate at which green spaces are being eliminated to make way for more urban structures or farming, one might wonder how this could affect our future. Based on this significant study, losing green areas may lead to major issues.
Engemann pointed out that growing up near and around trees isn't the only thing that can determine a person's mental health. This can also be affected by family history of mental illness and socioeconomic status. She, however, said that even considering these factors, they still arrived at the '55 percent' stat.
In other words, despite these determinants of mental health, being surrounded by nature definitely plays a major role.
Green space seemed to have an association that was similar in strength to other known influences on mental health, like history of mental health disorders in the family, or socioeconomic status.
She did mention that while the outcome of the study is interesting to note, it's mostly based on data correlation and that their findings have not been definitely and scientifically proven.
A 2014 study also found that exposing children to natural environments can have cognitive benefits and help them recover from physiological stress and mental fatigue.
So whether or not science agrees, it's still safe to say spending time immersed in nature and vegetation can be beneficial for children.