Want to be healthier? Move to a place that has a large park nearby. A new study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology found that by moving closer to green space, mental health immediately improves and sustains over long periods of time.
Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School used data from more than 1,000 participants over a five-year period—some who moved to greener spaces and others who relocated to more urban nvironments.
They found that those who moved to greener areas experienced improvements in mental health immediately and sustained this improvement for at least three years. Those who ended up in a more urban environment during the study experienced mental health decline.
The study also considered other factors that might alter mental health: income, education, and employment, for example. “These findings are important for urban planners thinking about introducing new green spaces to our towns and cities, suggesting they could provide long term and sustained benefits for local communities," said lead researcher Ian Alcock.
If you're looking for a great place to go green, consider one of Outside’s Best Towns.