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We are delighted to announce that after 17 years, efig is rebranding. As of 22 January 2018 we are known as the Plants at Work  Ltd - plants@work 
 
The reason for this change is to make our association more relevant. plants@work says exactly what and who we are and clearly states what our main aim is, to supply businesses with first class interior planting to improve their workplaces aesthetically and for wellbeing.
 
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Kids who see green develop mentally more quickly

on Thursday, 18 June 2015. Posted in News

New research shows that greenery can help children’s cognitive development. There is a good deal of research out there that confirms how green spaces help mental and physical health, reports suggest no study has been done about how greenery affects children*.

 

Cognitive development

 

Primary school children. (Image: Morgue File via Horticulture Week)

Most of us are now aware that enjoying nature inside or out is beneficial to our health and our productivity. We have also been bombarded in the media with reports about the whole nation’s lack of physical exercise being the cause of many of our chronic diseases.


As children, and even as parents of young children, those threats seem a long way off. But concerns about a generation growing up connected to the internet and watching a screen of some kind are rife.


Now research from Barcelona led by Dr Payam Dadvand is telling us something most of us knew in our hearts but needed some evidence to make it real.


The study looked at around 2,500 children between the ages of 7 and 10 at 36 primary schools in the city of Barcelona. The study meant that the children were tested regularly – every three months – to check their cognitive development including memory and attention span.

How they assessed the children

Using satellite data, the team could work out how much green space each child came into contact with both at home and at school and also on their journeys to and from school.
Where the team found green space within 50 metres of the school, the children’s working memory improved by an average of 5%; their problem-solving speed was up by an average of 6%.
Being in contact with green spaces in all three situations seemed have a positive affect on the children.


The research team acknowledge that some of this could be due to less carbon pollution in the areas because the green spaces are effectively cleaning the air. They suggest that the lack of pollution might account for between 20 and 65% of the mental development but was unlikely to account for it 100%. They also acknowledge that the effect could be due to more physical exercise taken by the children who spent time outside in parks and garden where they would also encounter bacteria which helped brain development.

Nancy Wells at Cornell University*
Despite the reference to no research completed in this area previously, Nancy Wells of Cornell University conducted a study in 2000. The sample was very small which might be why it has been discounted.


Cornell and her colleagues studied 17 children (7 to 12 years) of low-income families living in poor quality housing in built up urban environments. The families were moved to greener areas. The children were tested before the move and after using the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale, a standard evaluation tool.


After the move the children in the ‘greenest’ areas had the highest level of cognitive functioning of the group.