The (Pretty Much Totally) Complete Health Case for Urban Nature
I’m not a doctor, but I do sit near one in The Atlantic’s New York office. So you can trust me to know that MD-in-residence James Hamblin is on to something when he writes in the magazine’s October issue about the rising appreciation among physicians for the health benefits of parks and green space. Hamblin writes of “a small but growing group of health-care professionals who are essentially medicalizing nature”
On the flipside of the emotional spectrum, other work has linked proximity to urban parks with higher well-being. U.K.-based researchers surveyed about 10,000 Brits on how satisfied they were with their lives, as well as whether they had general signs of mental distress. In the journal Psychological Science, the researchers reported that having more green space nearby led to a clear spike in life satisfaction—“equivalent to 28% of the effect of being married rather than unmarried and 21% of being employed rather than unemployed.”
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