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Researchers Use App to Study Impact of Nature on City Dwellers
Study Confirms Nature Elements in Urban Areas are Beneficial for Health

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According to the study by researchers at King's College London, the beneficial impacts of being exposed to nature on a person's wellbeing are greater in those who have a high risk of developing mental health issues.


A study conducted by King's College London found exposure to nature in cities can increase a person's mental wellbeing.

Researchers from the college, landscape architects at J & L Gibbons, and an artist at Nomad Projects carried out the study using a smartphone app that monitored 108 people, living in urban areas, for over a span of one week.

The participants in the study used an app developed by the researchers called Urban Mind, to record their current environment and wellbeing at the time. The app also used GPS to geotag the participants' exact locations.

Trees, the sky and birdsong were the significant nature features that elevated a participant's mental wellbeing. Exposure to these features had immediate, as well as long lasting, effects on the person's mental health, according to the study.

"From a clinical perspective, we hope this line of research will lead to the development of low-cost scalable interventions aimed at promoting mental health in urban populations," said Kings College London researcher Andrea Mechelli.

The study promotes the use of nature elements, such as green spaces, to be built within cities.

"Our findings provide a much-needed evidence base for the benefits of nature within urban centers. From the perspective of urban planning and design, we hope the results will inform future investments and policies, helping build healthier cities," said landscape architects Johanna Gibbons and Neil Davidson.

To read the study in full click here: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix149/4791430.







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April 24, 2018, 9:54 pm PDT

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Last Updated 04-23-18
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