Holistic Wellness in Elementary Schoolyard Environments

An Analysis of 2000-2021 Research Studies


  • Julia Traub
  • Stephen Mainzer


wellness, schoolyards, physical environments, multidisciplinary, meta-analysis


A lack of direct experience with the natural environment puts children at higher risk for mental disorders, obesity, social disconnection, and poor critical-thinking skills. Despite the current knowledge that wellness is a multidimensional concept, traditional approaches to evaluating the performance impacts of schoolyard environments are surprisingly monodisciplinary. This study explored a sample of how wellness impacts in elementary schoolyards are currently being studied through a meta-analysis of post-2000 literature. The results suggest a recent trend of emerging diversity in approaches, yet there remains a gap in the research for multidisciplinary approaches that incorporate multivariate dimensions of wellness.