Saturday, July 28, 2018

Life With Chronic Conditions: Access Green Space

A study published last week in JAMA Network Open  has shown that green spaces are associated with better mental health.

Having access to green space is healing on multiple levels. Finding it in your community and spending time there could be a real boost, improving how you feel and function. Whether you have personal access to green space or not, consider working with a community group, a support group, church etc. to establish green spaces were they may not have them. Planning and implementing such a volunteer effort is not only rewarding and healthier for the environment, but lots of research shows how volunteering makes people a lot happier.

There are lots of options to consider including small informal spaces, such as by a river bed, roof terrace, vacant lot, or backyard to larger projects such as a park or nature trail. You can clean up an existing lot. One study found that 10 or more trees per city block positively impacted how people felt. Just looking at trees makes people feel better.

Don’t less cost deter you as it’s cheaper than you think.  The Philadelphia project found that converting an abandon space could be done for as little as $1,600 with an additional $180 per year for maintenance. You don’t need to go that big as simply cleaning an overgrown lot can be done for free.

To get started, check out Create a Green Space in Your Community.

Don’t overlook houseplants as they help to keep a space clean. In fact they can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. In addition they improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress levels and boost mood. Check out The Best Houseplants for Every Room.

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