Posted on May 13, 2010, 6 a.m.
Taking just five minutes of exercise in a 'green' space, such as a park, can give mental health a significant boost, say researchers.
Exercising in a 'green' space, such as a park or garden, can give mental health a significant boost, say researchers. Study authors Jules Pretty and Jo Barton of the University of Essex, England, analyzed 10 studies involving 1252 participants. Results showed that exercising in a green environment led to significant improvements in mood and self-esteem. Just five minutes of exercise was found to have the biggest benefit on mental health, with longer periods of green exercise having a diminishing, but still positive, effect. All green environments were found to boost self-esteem and mood; however those that also contained water, such as a river or lake, were found to be even more beneficial. The authors concluded: "This study confirms that the environment provides an important health service."
Jo Barton, Jules Pretty. What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis. Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print]