Getting out in your ‘hood helps your health
Many of us are enjoying a proximity to natural landscapes every day, but new research is giving us clear evidence that its benefits go well beyond the fun and frivolity of a pint in the park.
As our Growing Health project has shown, spending time outdoors is good for the mind, body, and soul. Londoners break for lunch in Burgess Park, hike Hampstead Heath and swim the Serpentine.
Now, research recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that as our local landscape becomes greener, our psychological state improves. Where the transformation of vacant spaces in participants’ communities allowed for an incredible 63% improvement in self-reported mental health and 42% decrease in depression.
Luckily for Londoners, nearly half of our fair city is already green space. Parks, gardens, allotments, and urban farms litter the boroughs — especially valuable as there’s also evidence that contact with soil bacteria positively affects our brain chemistry. Across the capital, projects such as Sydenham Garden, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing through access to growing spaces, and other Capital Growth gardens are making real differences in the lives of Londoners.
To reap these rewards, discover a community garden near you on our Capital Growth map.
You can learn more about how community food growing can promote health and wellbeing on our Growing Health pages.
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