Thursday, 23 September 2021

Parks are boon to lifestyle

LIVING in a green area has a significant effect on people’s life satisfaction rating, according to a new study.

LIVING in a green area has a significant effect on people’s life satisfaction rating, according to a new study.

The research revealed that city dwellers with easy access to parks and other green spaces had a better quality of life than those living without such sites near to them.

People living in greener urban areas reported less mental distress and higher life satisfaction overall. The positive impact was found to be roughly equivalent to a third of the impact of being married and a 10th of the impact of being employed, rather than unemployed.

Dr Mathew White from the University of Exeter Medical School’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall, claimed the findings could be important for psychologists, public health officials and urban planners.

He said: “We’ve found that living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space can have a significantly positive impact on wellbeing.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.”

Researchers stated that living in a greener area has a significant effect, even when the results of the study were combined with other factors that contribute to life satisfaction. Past studies have suggested a correlation between green space and wellbeing, but those papers were not able to rule out the possibility that people with higher levels of wellbeing simply move to residential property in greener areas.

Commenting on the new study, which is published in the journal Psychological Science, a university spokesman claimed the findings do not provide concrete evidence that moving to a greener area will boost life satisfaction.

He said: “Research published today does not prove that moving to a greener area will necessarily cause increased happiness, but it does fit with findings from experimental studies showing that short bouts of time in a green space can improve people’s mood and cognitive functioning.”

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