Green play ar­eas need

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

HAV­ING out­door space to play is not only good for chil­dren’s phys­i­cal health but also vi­tal for their men­tal well­be­ing, new re­search has found.

A re­port to be pre­sented to the Ecoc­ity World Sum­mit in Mel­bourne this week says that high- den­sity neigh­bour­hoods need more green space to give chil­dren a healthy start in life.

The Aus­tralian study is one of the world’s largest stud­ies into the men­tal and phys­i­cal health of chil­dren up to the age of 13. Data from 10,000 Aussie chil­dren was an­a­lysed.

Re­searchers Dr Xiaoqi Feng and As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Thomas Astell- Burt at the Univer­sity of Wol­lon­gong found marked dif­fer­ences in chil­dren who grew up in greener neigh­bour­hoods com­pared to those who have less ac­cess to park ar­eas.

Ac­cess to high- qual­ity green space was even more im­por­tant for men­tal well­be­ing as the chil­dren got older, the re­search found.

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