Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green spaces may boost wellbeing for city dwellers

Date:
April 22, 2013
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
New research has found that people living in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater wellbeing than city dwellers that don't have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby.

New research published in the journal Psychological Science has found that people living in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater wellbeing than city dwellers that don't have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby.

The research has been led by Dr Mathew White from the University of Exeter Medical School's European Centre for Environment & Human Health, in Truro, Cornwall.

By examining data from a national survey that followed UK households over time, Dr White and colleagues at the European Centre have found that individuals reported less mental distress and higher life satisfaction when they were living in greener areas.

Importantly, this association held even after the researchers accounted for changes over time in participants' income, employment, marital status, physical health, and housing type.

Dr White and colleagues were surprised by the scale of the effects of living in a greener area in comparison to 'big hitting' life events, such as marriage: "We've found that living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space can have a significantly positive impact on wellbeing, roughly equal to a third of the impact of being married."

This effect is also equivalent to a tenth of the impact of being employed (vs unemployed).

The results show that even when stacked up against other factors that contribute to life satisfaction, living in a greener area has a significant effect.

"These kinds of comparisons are important for policymakers when trying to decide how to invest scarce public resources, such as for park development or upkeep, and figuring out what 'bang' they'll get for their buck" said Dr White.

Findings from previous studies have suggested a correlation between green space and wellbeing, but those studies were not able to rule out the possibility that people with higher levels of wellbeing simply move to greener areas. Dr White and colleagues were able to solve that problem by using longitudinal data (data gathered from the repeated observation of participants over time) from the national survey, with data collected annually from over 10,000 people between 1991 and 2008.

The new research does not prove that moving to a greener area will necessarily cause increased happiness, but it does fit with findings from experimental studies showing that short bouts of time in a green space can improve people's mood and cognitive functioning.

While the effect for any one person might be small, Dr White points out that the potential positive effects of green space for society at large might be substantial.

"This research could be important for psychologists, public health officials and urban planners who are interested in learning about the effects that urbanisation and city planning can have on population health and wellbeing" Dr White concludes.

Co-authors on this research include Dr Ian Alcock, Dr Benedict Wheeler, and Professor Michael Depledge of the University of Exeter Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Green spaces may boost wellbeing for city dwellers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422101303.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2013, April 22). Green spaces may boost wellbeing for city dwellers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422101303.htm
University of Exeter. "Green spaces may boost wellbeing for city dwellers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422101303.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) Facebook says the DEA violated its Terms of Service and that such impersonations damage the integrity of the site. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins