Everyday, Local, Nearby, Healthy Childhoodnature Settings as Sites for Promoting Children’s Health and Well-Being

Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


In this chapter, we highlight the central role that healthy, vibrant, and functioning “everyday, local, and nearby” childhoodnature ecosystems can play in both keeping children healthy and in helping them to understand the relationship between ecosystem health and their own health. By understanding these interconnections, children can learn that they are not separate from or superior to nature. Rather, these settings become sites where children can refresh and reimagine understandings of nature and their relationships as, within, of, and to nature. Healthy settings are, we believe, a foundation for healthy children. A focus on health is particularly timely for two reasons. First, there are mounting international concerns about children’ health – be it around issues of physical activity, mental illness, social resiliency and belonging, overweight and obesity, and spiritual grounding. But it is not only children’s health that is of concern: there are deep and mounting international concerns about the health of ecological systems, be it around issues of global warming, acid rain, species loss, air pollution, urban sprawl, waste disposal, ozone layer depletion, and water pollution. This Chapter is framed around the World Health Organization’s definition of health and explores the ways in which local nearby natural childhoodnature settings can promote physical, mental, social, and spiritual health and well-being of children. To illustrate these concepts in action, we profile a case study from our research in Australia. This chapter concludes with a discussion on the ways that healthy childhoodnature settings can unite, inform, and support the interests of educators, environmentalists, and children’s health advocates who have an interest in the health of children and ecosystems.


Settings Health promotion Local/nearby/everyday places Children Health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Education and ArtsFederation UniversityGippsland CampusAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marianne Logan
    • 1
  • Helen Widdop Quinton
    • 2
  1. 1.Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  2. 2.Victoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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