Not only does being surrounded by greenery give you the opportunity to relax but it also cuts stress and increases our chances of exercising. After who would want to go for an early morning run around a built up housing estate if there was a lush green park on offer?
Research shows that those living in a residential area containing 90 per cent gardens and parks are two thirds less likely to suffer from depression than those living in residential areas with only 10 per cent green space.
The study also showed that those living near extensive areas of green space suffered with significantly less “disease clusters” such as heart disease, respiratory illness, neurological problems etc, than those in built up areas.
Dr Jolanda Maas, of VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said councils should introduce more greenery to improve wellbeing.
Dr Maas explained how the study showed that the role of green space in the living environment for health benefits should not be overlooked or underestimated and suggested that introducing more outdoor space would eventually help to reduce the costs of treating the above diseases which are common and costly to treat.
The researchers based their study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, on the health records of people registered with 195 family doctors in 95 practices across the Netherlands.