People living close to trees and green spaces are less likely to be obese, inactive or dependent on antidepressants…
People living close to trees and green spaces are less likely to be obese, inactive or dependent on antidepressants, according to a new European study. Researchers at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) spent a year reviewing more than 200 academic studies for the report, and found extensive evidence that access to nature has multiple health benefits, ranging from improved mental wellbeing to reduced levels of allergies. One study, for instance, found that middle-aged Scottish men living in deprived but verdant areas had a death rate 16% lower than their more urban counterparts. Another study, from Bradford, found that pregnant women from greener areas recorded lower blood pressure and gave birth to larger babies.
“The evidence is strong and growing that people and communities can only thrive when they have access to nature,” says Robbie Blake, a nature campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, which commissioned the report. Patrick ten Brink, the IEEP’s Director, praised cities such as Oslo for taking steps to make nature accessible to all. “We should be inspired by this and work together so that all Europeans have nature within 300m of their homes in the next 10 years,” he says.
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