New publication: Children and Nature: Linking Accessibility of Natural Environments and Children’s Health-Related Quality of Life

A new article, Children and Nature: Linking Accessibility of Natural Environments and Children’s Health-Related Quality of Life, conducted by HEAL Researchers Suzanne Tillmann (lead author), Dr. Andrew Clark and Dr. Jason Gilliland examines the relationship between accessibility to natural environments and children’s health related quality of life in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The data used for this paper comes from the larger Spatial Temporal Activity Monitoring (STEAM) Project. The data was collected over a six year period from a number of communities across Northwestern and Southwestern Ontario.

Accessibility to nature refers to whether or not specific element(s) of nature exist within a child’s environment, and in this study is quantified as a given amount or density of the natural element (e.g. green space, parks, water bodies) within close proximity to the child’s home. Findings from the study showed that characteristics of the natural environment including the amount of greenness, park, and water space were significantly associated with children’s HRQOL in the urban and suburban population. However, in the rural population individual level variables including household income, age, and gender, were the key predictors of HRQOL. These findings help to support policymakers, health practitioners, educators, and parents in the design and promotion of natural environments for children’s HRQOL.

Suzanne Tillmann is a HEAL Post-Graduate and Research Associate at the HEAL, Dr. Andrew Clark is Senior Project Coordinator of the HEAL, and Dr. Jason Gilliland  is Director of the HEAL, a Scientist at Children’s Health Research Institute, and Professor of Geography, Paediatrics, Health Sciences, and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western University.

Children and Nature: Linking Accessibility of Natural Environments and Children’s Health-Related Quality of Life” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Read the full article here: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061072

Keywords: children; mental health; health-related quality of life; nature

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