Celebrity Parents Children Who Grow Up Surrounded by Green Space Could Have Lower Risk of Psychiatric Disorders "Our findings affirm that integrating natural environments into urban planning is a promising approach to improve mental health," the study said By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 5, 2019 02:10 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Getty A new Danish study has found that growing up around more green space can potentially mean kids have a much lower risk of developing psychological disorders in adolescence and adulthood. The findings, published in PNAS late last month, saw researchers look at almost 1 million people across Denmark and conclude that individuals who spend their youth in a more natural, greener setting as opposed to an urban environment could have an up to 55 percent lower chance of going on to battle mental illness as an adult. According to the study, “The association remained even after adjusting for urbanization, socioeconomic factors, parental history of mental illness and parental age.” “We found that association was stronger when we calculated a cumulative measure of green space from birth to age 10 compared to measuring green space at one single year,” said the study’s lead researcher Kristine Engemann, according to WebMD. “This indicates that the positive association builds up over time, and that being exposed to green space throughout childhood is important.” Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter. Kids playing outdoors. Getty Jennifer Garner on What She Wants to Teach Her Kids About Farm Life: “You Don’t Need Things” For the study, Engemann and her five co-researchers looked at demographic data from a Danish residential registry, including that of citizens who had registered as having a psychiatric disorder. They then used satellite data from 1985 to 2013 to assess the amount of green space that each individual grew up around, after which they reached their 55 percent conclusion. “Our findings affirm that integrating natural environments into urban planning is a promising approach to improve mental health and reduce the rising global burden of psychiatric disorders,” the study said. Kids playing outside. Getty RELATED VIDEO: Chip Gaines Builds a Chicken Run with His Daughters While the study has led to an eye-raising conclusion in terms of percentages, Engemann cautioned in an interview with NPR that the findings are “purely correlational, so we can’t definitively say that growing up near green space reduces risk of mental illness.” However, “There are a lot of potential mechanisms to follow up on, but generally I think this study is tremendously important,” said Kelly Lambert, a neuroscientist from the University of Richmond. “It suggests that something as simple as better city planning could have profound impacts on the mental health and well-being of all of us,” Lambert added to NPR.