Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Why a walk, a park and a pond could be the perfect recipe for good mental health

Green exercise is defined as physical activity in the presence of nature and can include walking in the countryside, exercising in a park, gardening or doing conservation work. There is lots of scientific evidence to show that green exercise is beneficial for people's mental health and wellbeing but no-one knows how much you need to do to get the benefits of it. Jules Pretty and Jo Barton from the University of Essex studied 1,252 people using information from ten existing studies including activities such as walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming and found that just five minutes of green exercise can benefit mental health. The greatest health changes occured in the young and the mentally ill but people of all ages and social groups benefited. All natural environments were beneficial including parks in cities but green spaces with water were particularly therapeutic.

You can find out more about this research at


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