Parks + Wellness
Parks Make Us Better
The studies are endless, green spaces have a positive effect on our mood and overall wellbeing. No matter your age, background or ability, you will experience lower levels of stress, a reduction in blood pressure, improved mood and self-esteem, increased social interactions, and a higher level of activity.
Health benefits associated with the presence of, and access to, greenspace include improved levels of mental health, physical fitness, cognitive and immune function, as well as lower mortality rates.
- Government of Canada, Commentary: Climate Change, Health and Green Space Co-benefits
It’s worth our time to invest in local parks, from a community standpoint, or as a decision maker. Parks make our world better. Parks make us better.
- A wealth of research connects parks with positive effects on individual mental health well-being. Time spent in green space has been associated with improved mental health outcomes, including reduced stress levels (Capaldi, Dopko, and Zelenski 2014; Gidlow et al. 2016; James et al 2015; Roe et al. 2013).
- Evidence suggests that parks have a positive effect on social cohesion and sense of belonging (a critical measure in surveys of social cohesion), and engagement with park spaces can facilitate attachment to communities (Peters, Elands, and Bujis 2010).
- Evidence has associated time spent in parks and green spaces with reductions in complications caused by chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease (Bowler et al. 2010; NRPA 2015). Evidence from a large-scale Dutch survey suggests that proximity to green space has a positive effect on self-perceived general physical health, with a larger effect for the elderly, youth, and families with low incomes (Maas et al. 2006).
- Urban Institute, Research Report: The Health Benefits of Parks and their Economic impacts