SSM Health: Time outdoors benefits kids, but also the earth

MADISON, Wis. — Summer break is here, along with new summer schedules, longer daylight hours, and weather that is typically better for outdoor activities. With that, SSM Health physician Roopa Shah says now, more than ever, can be a great time for families to explore the great outdoors.

“Spending time in nature, for kids and for adults, can really help improve mental health, can help reduce anxiety, and can just improve overall well-being,” says Shah. “But especially for kids, spending time outside has really found that it improves their attention, their ability to focus and to concentrate, and in addition, when we’re playing outside we’re exposed to all kinds of things in nature which really can help boost our immune functioning.”

Dr. Shah says it’s not just physical and mental benefits, but that the time outdoors also benefits planet Earth. As kids spend more time outdoors, it’s more likely that appreciation will grow for what our earth provides. In turn, this will help kids learn what we can do to take better care of the earth.

Our time for kids: Keys to Health team is asking what you want to hear about. Let us know what health topics you’re interested in, or share your family’s health story with us, online at ssmhealth.com/timeforkids.