1. Mental Health: Contact with green spaces is associated with lower risk of stress and psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. There is growing evidence for the beneficial effects of green space on mental health linked to improvements in behavioural development.
2. Brain Development & Cognitive Function: Long term exposure to green space can reduce the risk of behavioural and emotional problems and enhances cognitive development, including improved attention and working memory. Green space can play an especially crucial role in children’s brain and cognitive development.
3. Other Non-communicable Diseases: Contact with green spaces is associated with lowered risk of cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, obesity and lower back pain. Considering that non-communicable diseases are responsible for the equivalent of 71% of all deaths globally, the global benefit of more accessible green spaces could be huge.
4. Mortality: More green space in residential areas is associated with reduced all-cause premature mortality because of lower exposure to air pollution, people doing more physical activity, stronger perceived social engagement, and a reduced risk of depression.
5. Pregnancy Outcomes: Access to green space is positively associated with increased length of gestation, reducing the risk of preterm birth, infant mortality, and negative long-time outcomes during childhood and beyond.
6. Perceived General Health: More contact with green spaces has been consistently associated with an improved perception of general health and also subjective well-being — things like feeling more happiness and satisfaction with life.
7. Reduced hospitalisation and recovery time: Exposure to green space helps to avoid hospitalization due to the development of healthier physical and psychological conditions, and reduces the recovery period after treatments and operations."
Question: Who here lives or has lived in an urban environment? I have lived in two urban locations.
I grew up close to an urban environment, but lucky for me with a view of the mountains and the water. Nearly everywhere I've lived, I've felt most comfortable with a view of a greenbelt, mountains, water, etc., and within a short walk from forest trails or flowing water. Now that I've moved into an area even more surrounded by nature, I still seek out an hour each day to walk and contemplate my little being in the vastness of the natural world... I do so for my sanity. I guess also for my health and happiness.