Living in or moving to green and blue spaces (by bodies of water) could improve mental health, especially for those from more deprived areas, a study has revealed.
The study used records of household ‘greenness’, access to green and blue spaces and GP records for more than two million adults in Wales. Results suggested that greater exposure to green spaces was associated with lower odds of common mental health disorders.
While every additional 360m to the nearest green or blue space was associated with higher odds of anxiety and depression. The positive effects of green and blue spaces on mental health appeared to be greater for people from deprived areas.
Researchers say the findings support the need to create and improve more green and blue spaces. And the study’s results could be used to encourage planners and policymakers to invest for the benefit of public health.
Dr Rebecca Geary, lecturer at the University of Liverpool, added: ‘Providing urban green and blue spaces may also give additional co-benefits of job or food creation, biodiversity promotion, flood prevention and carbon sequestration, so are both a public health and social investment.’
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