News / Health

Study: Green Space Make Us Happier for Longer

FILE - People walk Green Park during autumn, central London.
FILE - People walk Green Park during autumn, central London.
VOA News
Getting back to nature is good for your mental health, according to new research, giving advocates of urban parks another reason to promote the value of green space.
 
Nearly 80 percent of the population in middle- and high-income countries live in cities, where depression is a major public health concern. Parks, gardens and natural spaces are not always nearby.
 
Some studies have suggested that there is a relationship between green space and happiness, but researchers have not established a cause and effect link. So Mathew P. White and colleagues from the University of Exeter decided to try to pin it down.
 
They compared the mental health of hundreds of Britons who had moved from a grey city neighborhood to a greener one with those who had moved in the opposite direction.

Looking at the data over the course of five years, they found that people who had moved to a greener area were happier — and stayed happier — after their move.

In a report in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the researchers conclude, "environmental policies to increase urban green space may have sustainable public health benefits."

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Comments
     
by: Matthew Ma from: Syracuse, NY, USA
January 08, 2014 11:35 PM
Spurious correlation. Those who live in areas with more parks probably have more education, better jobs, and more money, security, etc. They moved probably because they could afford to and their overall prospects are looking up whereas someone moving to a "grey" neighborhood might be trending down. The green space may make a difference and this study might show that people desire green space and parks, but that just seems intuitive. Perhaps income levels were neutral, I can't view the study and am not paying to do so
In Response

by: Beckett
January 10, 2014 8:28 PM
Green space equals sunshine and that's what helps bring people out of depression.

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