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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Moving to An Area With More Green Space Can Improve Your Mental Health for Years | Smithsonian Mag

There's plenty of evidence for the idea that humans thrive when we have frequent exposure to nature—even when it's just a patch of greenery in the midst of a city's concrete jungle.
Studies have found that, after looking at nature scenes, people are kinder and more charitableThey've suggested that children with ADHD have an easier time concentrating when they spend time outdoors. A 2008 study even found that, for office workers, a mere glimpse of green through a window or a live plant on their desk were, on the whole, associated with lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction.
A new study published last week in Environmental Science & Technology underscores just how important green spaces are for our long-term well-being. When a group of researchers from the UK's University of Exeter looked at five years' worth of mental health data for 1064 participants who moved their residence during the study period, they found that those who moved to urban areas with more surrounding green space showed higher overall mental health scores—meaning that they were happier and had lower levels of anxiety and depression—for the very first year after their relocation compared to the years prior to moving.

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