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Find out how living near green spaces affects your mental wellbeing

Professor Joao Porto de Albuquerque has collaborated in a study that was designed to examine whether the amount of greenspace within a specified radius of individuals’ homes was associated with reduced symptoms of mental distress and greater life satisfaction. The study tests the government’s current guidelines that greenspace should be available within 300 m of homes.

Individual and Household-level data were drawn from the Annual Population Survey at postcode level which includes 3 mental wellbeing measures, covering aspects of life satisfaction, sense of worth and happiness.

Greenspace data obtained from Greenspace Information for Greater London Group (GiGL) was used to calculate the amount of greenspace within a 300 m radius of individuals.

The data produce positive and statistically significant associations between the amount of greenspace and indicators of life satisfaction and worth. The results revealed that an increase in 1 ha of greenspace within 300 m of residents was associated with a statistically significant 0.803 increase in life satisfaction, 0.740 and 0.521 for worth and happiness, respectively. Therefore supporting the current guideline for the inclusion of greenspace within 300 m of homes.

Further analyses are required to investigate whether the walking (network distance), absolute size, or type of each greenspace are able to explain why separate locations within similar distances exhibit values that differ.