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Wisconsin Research Shows Green Space Keeps You From Feeling Blue

RATE THIS! +36
Posted in Science on 15th Apr, 2014 02:06 AM by AlexMuller

If you start feeling better as spring begins pushing up its tender shoots, you might be living proof of a trend discovered in data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin: The more green space in the neighborhood, the happier people reported feeling.

 
“Across neighborhoods of Wisconsin, from the North Woods to the cities, the results are striking,” says Dr. Kristen Malecki, assistant professor of population health sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Higher levels of green space were associated with lower symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.”
 
The study, published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, combines mental-health data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) and Landsat 5 satellite data from July 2009 that analyzed how much vegetation was present in each of the SHOW census blocks.
 
About 2,500 Wisconsin residents from 229 neighborhoods answered an assessment that asked them to rate their symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. The research team, which was also led by Dr. Kirsten Beyer of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, adjusted the results to make sure they weren’t confounded by race, age, income level, education, marital status, employment and other factors.

Tags: healthnatureenvironmentmental healthdepression

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+2
I am not surprised. The link between green spaces and mental health is now well documented and one recent study also found that the impact is long lasting - I hope that planing authorities will take notice!
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+3
Yes, a relatively simple solution to improving the mental health of poor urban neighborhoods would be: Plant trees and grass. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+2
They point that the study gives credence to the “attention restoration theory,” which holds that more time in nature restores the ability to concentrate and reduces mental fatigue. This is important to note! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+2
We all assumed that green spaces and mental health are linked and that green spaces can help with mental illnesses. It is good that that such intuitive assumptions are now supported by data and that the effects could be long lasting
4 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+1
Recently it has been suggested that green spaces 'can save NHS billions'. That requires that everyone had access to green spaces. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+0
I agree that the link between "healthy woods and healthy lives" is a connection that really has to be made much more and much more often. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-15
+0
I found that just 14% of people in England had access to woodlands within 500m of their home. This is unexpected and should be improved Reply
Reply


 

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