By the age of 3, children appreciate nature's fractal patterns

Fractal patterns are noticed by people of all ages, even small children, and have significant calming effects.

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  • A new study from the University of Oregon found that, by the age of three, children understand and prefer nature's fractal patterns.
  • A "fractal" is a pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales. Exact fractals are ordered in such a way that the same basic pattern repeats exactly at every scale, like the growth spiral of a plant, for example.
  • Separate studies have proven that exposure to fractal patterns in nature can reduce your stress levels significantly.
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The mental and physical health benefits of ecotherapy

There are countless studies that prove ecotherapy (often referred to as nature therapy) is beneficial for your physical and mental health.

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  • What was once considered a simple practice and ideology about the benefits of nature has been proven in multiple studies to positively impact our physical and mental health.
  • Some of the benefits of spending time in nature can be: a boost in killer-cells that fight off viruses, an ability to maintain focus and improvement in mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.
  • To explain the all-encompassing benefits of nature, the Japanese have coined the term "shinrin yoku", which translates to "forest bathing."
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House plants do not purify the air, study shows

Beautiful? Yes. Air purifiers? Not so fast.

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  • A new meta-analysis at Drexel University shows that house plants are not effective for purifying the air of toxins.
  • A 1989 NASA report that claimed indoor plants are purifying was not conducted in realistic living conditions.
  • Indoor plants have positive effects on our mental health, just not in regards to air quality.
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Nature-deficit disorder: What kids lose by not experiencing the outdoors enough

Research explains the positive impact and health benefits of children spending more time in nature.

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  • "Nature-deficit disorder" is the term coined by author Richard Louv, to help put a name to the ever-growing problems associated with children spending less time in nature.
  • Research has provided evidence that prove Richard Louv's theories on the importance of nature to the human body and mind. This research proves a link between time spent in nature and improvements in areas such as motivation, problem-solving and self-esteem.
  • There are many simple, actionable ways parents and educators of young children can incorporate nature back into the lives of children both in school and at home, such as starting outdoor playgroups or reintegrating nature into the school curriculum.
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'Tamagotchi-like' planter aims to bestow you with a green thumb

Designers from Luxembourg created a smart planter that can give anyone a green thumb.

Images credit: mu-design
  • A design team came up with a smart planter that can indicate 15 emotions.
  • The emotions are derived from the sensors placed in the planter.
  • The device is not in production yet but you can order it through a crowdfunding campaign.
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