Views of green space help students perform better: study

February 1, 2016

(HealthDay)—High school students who can gaze upon at least a patch green landscape from their classroom may perform better academically, a new study suggests.

"It's a significant finding, that if you have a green view outside your window, you'll do better on tests," study co-author Dongying Li, a doctoral student in the department of at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a university news release.

However, the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, only that there was an association with having a view of green space and better academic performance.

The study included 94 at five central Illinois high schools. It found that those who were in a classroom with windows that looked out onto did 13 percent better on tests of attention than those in windowless rooms or those with windows that looked out onto another building or parking lot.

The students in the room with a view also had better stress recovery than those in the other two rooms, the researchers said.

The study was published online ahead of its scheduled April publication in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

The researchers hope their findings will lead to policy changes in areas such as school design and recess.

Such changes "would be a much better investment than any of the things we spend money on in secondary education today," study co-author William Sullivan, head of the architecture department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in the news release.

More information: The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips to help children succeed in school.

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