The health benefits of green space include: improved mental health and wellbeing for children, young people and adults; increased likelihood of physical activity across all age groups; reduced violence and aggression: a reduction in anti-social behaviour and incidence of crime in urban areas with green spaces; reduced health inequalities; improvement in air and noise quality.
Analysing data that followed people over a five year period, the research has found that moving to a greener area not only improves people's mental health, but that the effect continues long after they have moved.
The findings add to evidence that suggests increasing green spaces in cities – such as parks and gardens – could deliver substantial benefits to public health.
The research is one of the first studies to consider the effects of green space over time and has used data from the British Household Panel Survey, a repository of information gathered from questionnaires filled in by households across Great Britain.
Using data from over 1,000 participants, the research team at the University of Exeter Medical School focused on two groups of people: those who moved to greener urban areas, and those who relocated to less green urban areas.
They found that, …