21st April 2011
Having the ability to access green space is vital for rehabilitation following operations and improving health in general, a new study has shown.
Scientist Frances Ming Kuo, from the University of Illinois, looked into the effect a green environment can have on people in a bid to prove the notion that fresh air and green space is an aid to health.
Researchers took nature-lovers and those who prefer to stay indoors and exposed them to green space in a rigorously controlled scientific experiment.
They found that access to green space caused an improvement in mental health, as well as helping patients recover from surgery, including knee replacement operations and hip ops, and aiding in recovery from heart problems.
Dr Kuo said: "The strength, consistency and convergence of the findings are remarkable. Just as rats and other laboratory animals housed in unfit environments undergo systematic breakdowns in healthy, positive patterns of social functioning, so do people."
The doctor also discovered that the mood of people living in places with or without access to green space was very different.
She has now urged city and town planners around the globe to incorporate more green space into plans, in a bid to promote health in both the city and the countryside.
Going for a walk in the park is one of the most popular activities for people of all ages.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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