CREAL: New evidence on the health benefits of natural outdoor environments

CREAL: New evidence on the health benefits of natural outdoor environments

News from CREAL

It has been suggested that green spaces are beneficial to health, both for general and mental health. A new study, led by researchers from CREAL and published in Environment International, reinforces this relationship.

In research led by CREAL, an ISGlobal alliance research center, it is shown that the presence of green spaces is associated with better self-perceived general health and better mental health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between green (parks, fields, etc.) and blue spaces (beaches, rivers, etc.) and health of the population. The researchers also wanted to investigate whether this association was different between men and women, in different socioeconomic status and between urban and rural areas. The study also assessed whether the relationship between natural areas and health could be explained by differences in physical activity or social support.

"There is a growing evidence of the beneficial health effects of natural environments. However, most of the evidence has focused on green spaces and there is little evidence of the health benefits of the blue spaces. There is also little information about the factors that modify this association and the possible mechanisms that may explain it", says Margarita Triguero-Mas, first author of the paper.

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CREAL news

M. Triguero-Mas, P. Dadvand , M. Cirach, D. Martínez, A. Medina, A. Mompart, X. Basagaña, R. Gražulevičienė, M. J. Nieuwenhuijsen. Natural outdoor environments and mental and physical health: relationships and mechanisms. Environment International. Volume 77, April 2015, Pages 35–41