UPDATE: Some readers are missing that many of the links here are to peer reviewed medical research. Please follow the links to the Medical Library references.
Medical research shows children (and adults too) need natural spaces and full spectrum light.
A skyscraper school is unhealthy
Light coming through windows is not the same as outdoor light. Glass filters out some wavelengths and the intensity is just 0.5% of midday sunlight. Office lighting is around 500 lux, but outdoor direct sunlight is 100,000 lux. There is no way to recreate the same effect indoors easily. Human tissues respond to these differences. Natural full spectrum outdoor light is associated with better vision, better mental health and better sleep. In office workers, natural elements (greenery) and sunlight increase job satisfaction, commitment, improved mood and lower anxiety.
Less outdoor activity means more myopia and the need for glasses. UV B exposure in teens and young adults is associated with better vision. It turns out it’s not books that cause short-sightedness, but a lack of time outdoors that matters. And there may be life long effects; children with myopia grow up to have a higher risk of glucoma, retinal detachment and cataracts.
An indoor lifestyle means more vitamin D deficiency, and an increased risk for many chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases, asthma, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes. This is especially important in students with dark skin (and Perth Mod has many kids with every kind of skin). Chidlren are often low in Vitamin D even in sunny countries. Sixty eight percent of children in Ethiopian cities were vitamin D deficient. City children were three times as likely to be deficient as rural ones. Vitamin D deficiency is a public health problem.
There are only 200 school age children who live in the inner city of Perth. It’s not a high density kid zone. It’s the CBD.
*Headline edited 30-3-2017