-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Parks and urban gardens may
do more than just get city dwellers back to nature -- a new British
study suggests there's also a large benefit to their overall
Specifically, people with access to numerous green areas
reported less mental distress and higher levels of life
satisfaction than those without such access, according to the study
published online April 22 in the journal
This link between green spaces and greater well-being held true
even after the researchers accounted for factor such as income, job
and marital status and type of housing. In fact, the positive
impact of green spaces on well-being was equal to about one-third
that of being married and equal to one-tenth of being employed vs.
unemployed, they said.
"These kinds of comparisons are important for policymakers when trying to decide how to invest scarce public resources, such as for park development or upkeep, and figuring out what 'bang' they'll get for their buck," study leader Mathew White, of the University of Exeter's European Center for Environment and Human Health in Truro, said in a university news release.
The findings come from an analysis of data from more than 10,000
people in U.K. households between 1991 and 2008.
While this study does not prove that moving to an area with more
green spaces will increase a person's happiness or sense of
well-being, it does fit with previous research showing that short
periods of time in a green space can improve mood and mental
"This research could be important for psychologists, public health officials and urban planners who are interested in learning about the effects that urbanization and city planning can have on population health and well-being," White concluded.
Mental Health America offers tips on how to
live your life well.
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