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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Study suggests that living near green spaces reduces the risk of depression and anxiety

As part of their study, the researchers analyzed data gathered from 409,556 people and stored in the UK Biobank database. They specifically looked at the distance between participants and green areas, in conjunction with their self-reported well-being scores, as well as hospitalizations, hospital admissions, and deaths in their residential area.

"We assessed the level of greenness around each participant's residential address within 300m, 500m, 1,000m, and 1,500m," Tian explained. "Then, we determined their risk of developing mental health conditions over around 12 years, which was determined by national records on the death register, hospital admissions, primary care, and self-reports."

The results of the analyses performed by Tian and his collaborators suggest that there is a link between prolonged proximity to residential green areas and the incidence of both depression and anxiety. Specifically, they suggest that living closer to parks and other green areas reduces the risk of experiencing both depression and anxiety.

"We draw the important conclusion that long-term exposure to residential greenness is associated with a decreased risk of incident depression and anxiety, and reduced air pollution in the greenest areas probably plays an important role in this trend," Tian said. "Our study thus implies that expanding urban green spaces could promote good mental health."

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