Just 20 minutes in an urban park makes people feel happier, research finds.
There is no need to do any exercise (although it may help), just being there is enough.
The park provides time for the mind to recover from stress and fatigue.
Professor Hon K. Yuen, the study’s first author, said:
“Overall, we found park visitors reported an improvement in emotional well-being after the park visit.
However, we did not find levels of physical activity are related to improved emotional well-being.
Instead, we found time spent in the park is related to improved emotional well-being.”
The study included 94 people who were visiting one of three urban parks in the US: Overton, Jemison and Cahaba River Walk Parks in Mountain Brook, Alabama.
Each was asked about their emotional health.
The results showed that being in the park improved emotional well-being, even without doing any exercise.
Dr Gavin R. Jenkins, study co-author, said:
“There is increasing pressure on green space within urban settings.
Planners and developers look to replace green space with residential and commercial property.
The challenge facing cities is that there is an increasing evidence about the value of city parks but we continue to see the demise of theses spaces.”
The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research (Yuen et al., 2019).