I’ve long known about the healing affect of a long walk in nature for myself personally. In fact the dog and I take our medicine regularly down at Priory Park in Bedford, listening to the birds and watching the seasons change.
A recent study comparing the relationship between urban green spaces, well being and mental distress found that living near a park or similar green space in a city or town meant people were happier, showing significantly lower mental distress and significantly higher well being.
Other factors, like being married and employed, increase a person well being and these were compared with living near a green space. The study showed the gain in well being was roughly equal to a third of that gained from being married, or a tenth as large as being employed vs. unemployed.
It concluded ‘Urbanisation is considered a potential threat to mental health and well being and although effects at the individual level are small, this study demonstrates that the potential benefit at a population level should be an important consideration in policies aiming to protect and promote urban green spaces for well being.’
So I urge you to take advantage of this beautiful spring sun we are having at the start of this week to visit our parks and playgrounds. Take your lunch outside and find a tree, or bring the kids to the playground after school or if you are lucky enough, sit outside in your garden and listen to the birds. All these encounters with greenness increase our health and well being.
Have a good week.