I FOUND THESE ARTICLES RECENTLY CONCERNING THESE NATURE ELEMENTS THAT ARE MISSING IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY WELL CHILDREN AND ESPECIALLY IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN WHO HAVE LONG STAYS IN HOSPITALS OR MAYBE EVEN LIVE IN. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE INTRIGUE AND PEACE AND BEAUTY OF PLANTS TO CHILDREN. THEY'RE COMFORTING AND ENJOYABLE. THEY HELP TO OFFSET SOME OF THE MODERN DAY TECH AND EQUIPMENT CHILDREN GET ACCUSTOMED TO IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT IN THIS MODERN ERA. MAYBE IF YOU DON'T HAVE A GARDEN AT HOME, YOU WILL CONSIDER GROWING SOME PLANTS IN SOME WAY, SO YOU CAN ENJOY MORE TIME OUTDOORS IN THE FRESH AIR AND SUNSHINE.
New Study Shows Garden Areas Improved The Immune Systems of Daycare Children In Only A Month
A study in Finland showed, for the first time, that the immune system of children ages 3-5 improved when lawns, and planter boxes were added outside daycare centers.
Dozens of comparative studies have previously found that children who live in rural areas and are in contact with nature have a lower probability of catching an illness resulting from disorders in the immune system—and a lower risk of developing coeliac disease, allergies, atopy, and even diabetes.
The recent study shows that repeated contact with nature-like elements five times a week diversified the body’s microbes which offered protection against diseases transmitted through the immune system in daycare children.
“This is the first in which these changes offering protection against diseases have been found when adding diversified aspects of nature to an urban environment”, says Aki Sinkkonen, research scientist, who led the study for the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
he study published in Science Advances, measured what happened when children planted and tended crops in planter boxes, and played on lawns that were added to paved, tiled, or gravel-coated yard areas at daycare centers.
Biodiversity Increases Healthy Microbial Diversity
75 daycare children were monitored for one month at ten daycare centers in Lahti and Tampere. Changes in microbes in children who attended daycare with the added nature areas were compared with children who attended normal daycare centers (with no green yard area) or daycare centers with no green yard area, but regular field trips.
Playing in the biodiverse yards over a one month period increased microbial diversity in the children’s skin. There were also changes in blood counts. Increases in gammaproteobacteria, which strengthen the skin’s immune defense, increased the content of the multifunctional TGF-β1-cytokine in blood and reduced the content of interleukin-17A, which is connected to immune-transmitted diseases, according to a statement from Heikki Hyöty, professor of virology from the University of Tampere who participated in the study.
How Hospital Gardens Help Patients Heal - Turns Out They Have Medical Benefit
By Deborah Franklin 2012
To get an inkling of what a well-designed hospital garden can mean to a seriously ill child, watch the home video posted on YouTube last August of Aidan Schwalbe, a three-year-old heart-transplant recipient. The toddler is shown exploring the meandering paths, sun-dappled lawn and gnarled roots of a branching shade tree in the Prouty Garden at Children’s Hospital Boston. “He loves to be out in the garden feeding the birds and squirrels,” wrote Aidan’s grandmother in an August blog entry. “They will all weigh 30 lbs. each by the time we leave here!”
The garden that Aidan loves—with its vibrant greenery, shaded places to sit and walk, and small, half-hidden animal sculptures that fascinate visitors of all ages—is “one of the most successful hospital gardens in the country,” says Clare Cooper Marcus, an emeritus professor in landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dismissed as peripheral to medical treatment for much of the 20th century, gardens are back in style, now featured in the design of most new hospitals, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. In a recent survey of 100 directors and architects of assisted-living residences, 82 percent agreed that “the design of outdoor space should be one of the most important considerations in the design.” But can gardens, in fact, promote healing? It turns out that they often can. Scientists around the world are now digging into the data to find out which features of gardens account for the effect.
Common Sense Put To The Test
The notion that the fresh breezes, dappled sunlight and fragrant greenery of a garden can be good for what ails us has its roots in ancient tradition and common sense. But a much cited study, published in 1984 in the journal Science by environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich, now at Texas A&M University, was the first to use the standards of modern medical research—strict experimental controls and quantified health outcomes—to demonstrate that gazing at a garden can sometimes speed healing from surgery, infections and other ailments.
Ulrich and his team reviewed the medical records of people recovering from gallbladder surgery at a suburban Pennsylvania hospital. All other things being equal, patients with bedside windows looking out on leafy trees healed, on average, a day faster, needed significantly less pain medication and had fewer postsurgical complications than patients who instead saw a brick wall.
Esther Sternberg, a physician and Neuroimmunologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, calls Ulrich’s work “groundbreaking.” At the time, studies showing that loud sounds, disrupted sleep and other chronic stressors can have serious physical consequences were only just beginning. “In 1984 we all took it for granted that hospitals were noisy, smelly, disorienting mazes,” says Sternberg, who details the history in her book Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being. “But it hadn’t occurred to us that stress could affect a patient’s healing—or that we could do anything about that.”
Fortunately, as the evidence implicating hospitals as major engines of stress builds, the stack of data suggesting that gardens and planted alcoves can encourage healing has grown, too. Just three to five minutes spent looking at views dominated by trees, flowers or water can begin to reduce anger, anxiety and pain and to induce relaxation, according to various studies of healthy people that measured physiological changes in blood pressure, muscle tension, or heart and brain electrical activity.
Indeed, the benefits of seeing and being in nature are so powerful that even pictures of landscapes can soothe. In 1993 Ulrich and his colleagues at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden randomly assigned 160 heart surgery patients in the intensive care unit to one of six conditions: simulated “window views” of a large nature photograph (an open, tree-lined stream or a shadowy forest scene); one of two abstract paintings; a white panel; or a blank wall. Surveys afterward confirmed that patients assigned the water and tree scene were less anxious and needed fewer doses of strong pain medicine than those who looked at the darker forest photograph, abstract art or no pictures at all.
“Let’s be clear,” Cooper Marcus says. “Spending time interacting with nature in a well-designed garden won’t cure your cancer or heal a badly burned leg. But there is good evidence it can reduce your levels of pain and stress—and, by doing that, boost your immune system in ways that allow your own body and other treatments to help you heal.”
I plan to have similar posts about Gardening and Nature - they benefit everyone, hey? Walking in Parks or Sitting in Small Parks for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week or daily is beneficial too. A total of 120 minutes exposure to Nature a Week is great for our Health, Researchers are informing us.