Stanford Researchers Map How People in Cities Get a Health Boost from Nature

For people who reside in cities, parks can be a way of helping them to relax and de-stress. According to a Stanford University study, parks help improve the health of people who live in cities because going to the park increases their physical activity. Living a more sedentary life can cause many health problems and increase the cost of healthcare. The study illustrates why parks and green spaces in the city are important to improve the health of the people who live there. 

The lockdown during 2020 and 2021 helped to emphasize just how important it is for city dwellers to have somewhere more natural to go to relax and unwind. This information can be used for city planning to establish areas being developed or redeveloped. A park also provides shade and a place to absorb water to reduce flooding in the area. Green spaces are important for the city’s health as much as it is for the environment and for the people who live there.

While people can work out inside, research shows that exercising outside, like jogging, walking a dog, or gardening provides a change of scene and gives a person a sense of purpose. Parks and greenspaces can include trees, waterfronts, and other natural parts of the area, incorporating walkways among the greenery. During a person’s time in a park, they are much more likely to walk a little further to enjoy the fresh air, blooming plants, or the sense of freedom that comes with being outside after being inside for hours or days. During 2021, the city of Amsterdam is planning on ways the city can be improved by adding greenspaces that could help improve the mental and physical health of their citizens. It will serve as a case study that will be incorporated into Natural Capital Project, an open-source mapping tool for city planning. It is a popular piece of software in Europe, particularly since it has been shown that parks can help with many cognitive abilities, like memory, creativity, and focus.

Globalization is spreading urbanization and expanding cities. By adding these natural spaces, it can keep the people who live within cities healthier.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about the way nature can help you feel better, you can read the full article at Stanford Researchers Map How People in Cities Get a Health Boost from Nature


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