Living Near Greenery Improves Health

Nov 23, 2008 by

Living Near Greenery Improves Health

A study conducted at the University of Glasgow has found that living near parks and forests improves people’s health. And this is regardless of their social class.

According to Dr Richard Mitchell, the use of parks and fields for walks as well as other activities helps to lower blood pressure and also to combat the harmful effects caused by stress.

Mortality data of 366,348 people in England from 2001 to 2005 were looked at to examine the association between exposure to green spaces and different causes of death. It was discovered that, in the areas with the most greenery, the health gap between the richest and poorest people was the smallest – only about half of that in the areas with the least greenery.

Dr Mitchell said, “Not everyone has equal access to green spaces, but when people do have access they tend to use them, regardless of what part of the social spectrum they are from. This has a direct impact on their health.”

“Obviously, resources must still be ploughed into trying to narrow the inequality gap between rich and poor, and with that will come advances in the population’s general health.”

“However, we would encourage the Government to consider carefully what their policy on green spaces is and to bear this research in mind when planning urban areas for the future.”

A report which was published The Lancet had concluded that “the implications of this study are clear: environments that promote good health might be crucial in the fight to reduce health inequalities”.

Source: Press Association

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