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How can you improve your child’s mental attitude at school?
Child’s mental attitude:
Students in high school who can gaze upon a green landscape from their classroom are better able to both cope with stress and focus on their studies than students in a windowless room or a room without a green view. The research team behind this finding hopes it will lead to policy changes in areas such as school design and recess.
Mental attitude is important for a child’s scholastic performance. Do you remember back to your own days in school? If you are like me, probably not. It is difficult for adults to imagine the challenges of children today by comparing them to their own school time experiences. Perhaps this process is easier for school teachers, but for us “mere mortals”, we have difficulty relating. Children today spend more time indoors than prison inmates in the U.K. Children are not outside as much as they should be and this is leading to related health problems. People, like children generally do not want to be cooped up inside a room all day while the sun is shining. Ask your child how much time they spend outside while at school, you might be surprised at their answer.
The Landscape and Urban Planning Journal took a closer look at the problem and determined that walls painted with scenic views helped children cope better with the lack of sunlight. Of course we do not get the health benefits from the sun, such as vitamin D production from our skin and the blue light regulation of our sleep and wake cycles. But, at least kid’s mental attitude did not deteriorate as much. Should we implement more mural paintings on the walls of our schools? In my opinion this is short-sighted and only treats the symptom of a bigger problem. The bigger problem is a lack of sunlight in a student’s work space. Without enough exposure to sunlight we can all suffer adverse health reactions, But, children are affected more because it alters their development.
3 common sunlight related health issues face school children today.
- Nearsightedness According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology more time outdoors may reduce children’s risk of nearsightedness. Sunlight appears to be crucial for the proper development of children’s eyesight. One study found each additional hour spent outdoors per week reduced the incidence of nearsightedness by 2%. The rate of eye growth varies in relation to exposure to daylight. Get the children off the computer and outside, it is better for the health of their eyes.
- Sleepiness Children show their sleepiness in obvious ways. Have you ever been around a tired child? Perhaps they are moody, rub their eyes and have no social problem with simply laying their head on the nearest surface and dozing off to sleep. Sunlight is important to regulating our sleep and wake cycles. If we are constantly exposed to light our bodies have a difficult time regulating our sleep/wake cycles. Children who are chronically sleepy may not be getting enough sunlight exposure. A lack of sleep can affect brain development in children. Read article here.
- Obesity Is on the rise with children in the United States. Sedentary lifestyles, excessive empty-calorie consumption (read sugar & refined carbohydrates) and a lack of sun exposure all combine to increase obesity in children. How does this work? Basically, a lack of sunlight decreases a person’s vitamin D production. Decreased vitamin D leads to increased diabetes and increased obesity. Unfortunately, vitamin D supplements do not work well to help compensate for the deficiency. To help children fight against obesity, get them outside. Read more about sunlight slowing obesity here.
Landscape and Urban Planning, April 2016
As much as painting walls might help children cope with a difficult situation, it is no substitute for getting outside and getting exposure to real sunlight.