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Mental Benefits of Green Spaces

A new study from several health programs in Finland has shown that spending more time outdoors in green spaces is linked to less use of prescription drugs. The study followed 6,000 Finnish residents who used various medications for depression, anxiety, and insomnia, among other things. Participants were quizzed on the medications they take, the access they have to green space, and how often they spend time in those green spaces. Researchers found that more time spent outdoors equated to lower odds of using mental health medications. The study also found that thinking about nature or knowing that it was nearby was not enough to make a difference— you have to physically be spending time outdoors to see the effects. Though it’s long been thought that nature positively impacts mental health, this is one of the first studies to test that theory when it comes to medication.

Image via Guideposts

Read other stories from the 1/30/23 newsletter:


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