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 landscape architecture 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 students at five central Illinois high schools. It found that those who were in a classroom with windows that looked out onto green space 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 green 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 landscape architecture department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in the news release.