According to a new study from the University of Exeter Medical School, living near green spaces can have positive long-term effects on a person's mental health. The research, which was published in the journal Environment Science & Technology, says that those who move to a greener area have an almost immediate improvement in their mental health and the positive trend continues for at least three years after they initially move. On the other side of the spectrum, individuals who decide to live in more urban and densely populated areas suffer a decline in emotional well-being.
The term mental illness is defined by the United States Centers of Disease Control as the collective mental disorders that are able to be diagnosed and cause long-term alterations in mood, thinking or behavior. Depression was cited as the leading cause of mental illness around the globe by the World Health Organization in 2012.
Due to their research, the scientists at the University of Exeter put in the report that more green areas – such as parks – should be built by local and federal governments. The study was conducted with scientists looking at over 1,000 participants who were in the process of moving, whether they were moving to urban areas or less populated parts of the country. To get an accurate reading for their hypothesis, they eliminated other factors that were not important for their research – such as income, education and employment.
These findings are significant because of the money they can help save taxpayers. In 2002, experts estimate the cost of treating those with mental illnesses exceeded $300 billion, as almost 25 percent of the country suffers from one of these afflictions. If city planners add more green, the rate of mental health issues could decrease.
Alban Inspections recommends installing CFL bulbs in your home to make it greener and more energy efficient.