Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Facebook Posts May Hint at DepressionHere's Something to Sleep OnDrowsy Driving as Risky as Drunk DrivingScience Says 'Hug It Out'What's Your Savings Personality?Scientists Developing Blood Test for Drowsy DrivingRegular Bedtime Might Be Key to Better Health'Liking Gap' Might Stand in Way of New FriendshipsWhich of the 4 New 'Personality Types' Are You?Slaying the Couch-Potato MindsetScientists Finally Get Around to Finding Procrastination's Home in the BrainFor a Healthier Heart, Stick to 6 to 8 Hours of SleepTake a Vacation, Your Heart Will Thank YouTaking a Stand at WorkCellphone Use Puts Pedestrians Off-BalanceSleep Deprivation May Play Role in 'Global Loneliness Epidemic'Dining Out With Smartphones Isn't AppetizingExercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a PointSnap, Polish, Post: Why Selfies May Be Bad for Your HealthHealth Tip: Have a Safer SummerShield Yourself From the Summer SunIt's Hot Outside: How to Stay Safe When Thermometers Rise3-Pronged Approach to Cancer PreventionYour Sunscreen May Not Be as Protective as You ThinkAlmost 1,300 Genes Seem Tied to Academic SuccessGreen Spaces a Mental Balm for City DwellersYour Earliest Memories May Be FalseDoes Dirty Air Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?Health Tip: Map Your Way to Better HealthGreen Space: A Gateway to Better Health?How to Use Sunscreens the Right WayWant a Meaningful Conversation? Cut the Small TalkDrinking and Driving: A Deadly July 4 CocktailHealth Tip: Have a Fun and Safe VacationBeat the Heat on Your Summer VacationSitting Tied to Raised Risk of Death From 14 DiseasesHot Cars, Drowning: Keep Your Family Safe This SummerJust 1 in 4 Americans Gets Enough ExerciseHow Much Drinking Is Healthy -- or Not?America's Poor Are Less Happy Than Ever: StudyBeach, Boating and Booze Add Up to Summer InjuriesThe Water's Great. Just Don't Overlook Safety.Strategies to Avoid SunburnHealth Tips for Summer FunAHA: We All Need Water for a Healthy Life, But How Much?Health Tip: Understanding Sunscreen LingoSnubbed on Social Media? Your Depression Risk May Rise'Face-Aging' Photos Convince Tanners to Shun the SunHealth Tip: Stay Fit at WorkHealth Tip: 5 Habits That Could Help You Live Longer
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Exercise
Emotional Resilience

Green Space: A Gateway to Better Health?

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jul 11th 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Maybe there's good reason why open, unspoiled stretches of land are often referred to as God's country.

New research from Britain suggests that getting close to nature is beneficial to your health.

The researchers analyzed more than 140 studies that included more than 290 million people in 20 countries to compare the health of those with the greatest access to green space and those with the least access.

Green space was defined as undeveloped land with natural vegetation, as well as city locations such as parks and street greenery.

"We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits," said study author Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett. She with the University of East Anglia's Norwich Medical School.

"It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration," Twohig-Bennett said in a university news release.

"People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress," she added. "In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to green space significantly reduces people's levels of salivary cortisol -- a physiological marker of stress."

People with greater access to green space were also more likely to report good overall health, according to the study published July 6 in the journal Environmental Research.

"Although we have looked at a large body of research on the relationship between green space and health, we don't know exactly what it is that causes this relationship," Twohig-Bennett said.

And the study did not prove that green space causes health to improve.

"People living near green space likely have more opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Meanwhile, exposure to a diverse variety of bacteria present in natural areas may also have benefits for the immune system and reduce inflammation," Twohig-Bennett suggested.

Study co-author Andy Jones is a professor at the medical school. "We often reach for medication when we're unwell, but exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized as both preventing and helping treat disease," he said.

"Our study shows that the size of these benefits can be enough to have a meaningful clinical impact," Jones said.

More information

The National Recreation and Park Association has more on the health benefits of green space.