Living near a park is good for your mental health
Using data from the UK government's Annual Population Survey (APS) of 25,518 people, researchers showed that people who live within 300 metres of green space have significantly better mental well-being.
"A lot of research focuses on poor mental health, or single aspects of well-being like life satisfaction. What makes our work different is the way we consider multi-dimensional mental well-being in terms of happiness, life satisfaction and worth," said Victoria Houlden from the University of Warwick.
The study, published in the journal Applied Geography, found that there is a very strong relationship between the amount of green space around a person's home and their feelings of life satisfaction, happiness, and self-worth.
Green space within 300 metres of home had the greatest influence on mental well-being.
The study found that proximity to green space was more important than lifestyle factors such as employment, income and general health.
"By combining advanced statistical and mapping methods, we've shown that the effect is real and substantial.
Basically, we've proven what everyone has always assumed was true," said Scott Weich, Professor at the University of Sheffield.