There is considerable evidence that playing in nature and getting dirty is not only good for children’s minds but also supports a healthy immune system. This is according to an exploration of research published in October 2022 by BBC Future.
The analysis of global research shows that in addition to well-established psychological benefits, exposure to some microorganisms found in soil can train the immune system to cope better with illness. Evidence shows that friendly microbes can decrease the likelihood of:
- skin problems such as eczema and dermatitis
- auto-immune disorders like Crohn’s disease
- bodily responses to stress such as inflammation.
The research analysis draws on studies carried out in a range of countries, including Finland, Italy, Switzerland and Korea.