March 12th

There’s more evidence connecting nature to mental health.

A new study from North Carolina State University found that outdoor play and nature-based activities helped improve some of the negative mental health impacts of the pandemic for adolescents. Researchers say their findings bolster the idea that outdoor play and activities in nature help teens develop mental resiliency and cope with major stressors.

The survey was conducted from April 30 to June 15, 2020, and included 624 adolescents ages 10-18. The participants reported on their outdoor recreation habits before and after the pandemic. Subjects were also asked to rate their level of happiness, mental health and overall well-being.

Nearly 52% of the kids reported declines in well-being during the pandemic. Additionally, 64% of the participants reported their outdoor activity participation fell during the early months of the pandemic. At the same time, 77% of those surveyed reported that spending time outside helped them cope with the stress associated with the pandemic. Children who did not get outside as much saw declines in their overall well-being while those who spent more time outside reported higher levels of well-being.

The good news is that nature starts in your own backyard. How will you be backyarding with your family this spring? Click here for inspiration!