Shocker: Closeness to nature improves mental wellbeing

Published 24 June 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Nature has strong positive effects on our mental health.

Having more nature around the home reduces the use of antidepressants, according to a study from Stockholm University. Researchers believe that green spaces are important for promoting the mental health of the population.

The population-based study, published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning, looked at how much green space people had around their homes and also examined the annual use of antidepressants by these people. In total, about 100,000 people were included in the study, which ran from 2013 to 2016.

– The researchers found that the more green space people had around their homes, the lower their risk of using antidepressants by up to around 20 percent over the course of the study. This is also in line with some of our other studies showing that more green space around the home is associated with fewer sleep problems, Associate Professor Cecilia Stenfors, who led the study, said in a press release.

The findings from the study can be used to promote public health, especially mental health, and show the importance of green spaces in residential areas. While green spaces at greater distances are also important, it is argued that they cannot replace the effects that they have in the residential environment.

– The amount of nature in the form of green space in our immediate living environment and where we spend time every day is important for our mental health, says Stenfors.

Green spaces can also protect us from other factors that can affect our health, such as traffic noise, air pollution and heatwaves.

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