beyondblue – Going to the park is good for your mental health

August 25th 2010

Getting out into the countryside or enjoying our parks and gardens is good for us – this has been confirmed by a review of research on the links between mental health (in particular depression and anxiety), well-being and green spaces.

Beyond Blue to Green: The benefits of contact with nature for mental health and well-being reviews Australian and international research, and shows there is a significant relationship between people’s mental health and their local environment.

Associate Professor Mardie Townsend of Deakin University’s Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences says there is growing evidence to indicate that having access to the natural environment improves health and well-being, as well as preventing disease and helping people to recover from illness.

“Experiencing nature in an outdoor setting can help tackle not only physical health problems such as obesity and coronary heart disease, but also mental health problems – and there is plenty of evidence to support the claim,” she says.

The international literature review shows green spaces improve health in the population as a whole, as well as in specific population groups including children, young people, older people, Indigenous people and people with chronic and terminal illnesses.

beyondblue Chairman, The Hon. Jeff Kennett says it is clear that parks and open spaces are no longer simply about recreation and that having access to green spaces is crucial to people’s overall mental health.

“Having access to parks and open spaces enhances the mental health and well-being of the community,” Mr Kennett says. “Parks play a vital role in providing a place for people to exercise and socialise – both important in the management and prevention of depression and anxiety.”

Download Beyond Blue to Green: The benefits of contact with nature for mental health and well-being athttp://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=59.1284

By CERES Education – Outreach Team|2017-11-06T17:25:23+10:00May 1st, 2013|0 Comments
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