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In a recent study published in the journal Planetary Health, research conducted a massive, long-term, population-scale study comprising 2.3 million individuals from Wales to elucidate whether greater exposure to green and blue spaces (GBS) could be linked with mental health outcomes. Results from this 10-year-long longitudinal dynamic panel study revealed that greater exposure was associated with reduced common mental disorders (CMD), with these results more significant for individuals from more socio-economically deprived quintiles. These findings can help inform government policy on GBS, especially those planning GBS set-up to improve the mental health of their communities.

Common mental disorders (CMD) remain a primary contributor to the worldwide disease burden, resulting in an estimated 4.9% reduction in disability-adjusted life-years. Recent research has hypothesized that increased exposure to greener and blue spaces (GBS) or living close to green spaces may be responsible for improved mental health outcomes. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of longitudinal scientific evidence to support this hypothesis.

GBS comprises open-air natural settings, including parks, gardens, forests, beaches, lakes, and ponds, and has long been categorized as cultural ecosystem services. High-quality GBS accessibility and distribution, however, is unequal, with individuals living in deprived areas, older adults, the sick and disabled, and minority ethnic communities being far more deprived than their more affluent, younger, and more mobile counterparts.

Small-scale cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have suggested that increased GBS exposure may result in better mental health and well-being. However, they have predominantly included area- rather than household-level census data and been restricted to urban settings. Furthermore, the results from these pilots have been inconclusive, differing in estimated lag times between GBS exposure and beneficial mental health outcomes.


This article discusses a decade-long study affirming the positive impact of living near parks and lakes on mental health. The research explores the significant benefits of natural environments in promoting psychological well-being. Over the course of ten years, the study revealed that individuals residing near green spaces experienced improved mental health, reduced stress, and an enhanced overall quality of life.

The article details the study’s comprehensive findings, underscoring the therapeutic qualities of nature. Proximity to parks and lakes encourages physical activity, relaxation, and social interaction, all of which contribute to better mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or facing mental health challenges, RehabNear.Me is here to help. Call us at 855-339-1112, and our compassionate team will provide guidance and connect you with appropriate addiction treatment resources tailored to your unique needs. Taking the step towards seeking help can lead to a brighter and healthier future. Reach out today.


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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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