Access to nature helps to reduce depression and obesity
A team of 11 researchers at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) spent a year reviewing more than 200 academic studies on health and access to nature. The researchers published a paper for the European Commission that found overwhelming evidence supporting previously held views that people living close to trees and green spaces are less likely to be obese, inactive or dependent on anti depressants.
The paper reports that "nature is an under recognised healer offering multiple health benefits from allergy reductions to increases in self-esteem and mental wellbeing." The paper first appeared as an unpublicised 280 page European Commission literature review in the autumn before being picked up by Friends of the Earth, Europe as part of an ongoing study analysing links between health, deprivation and access to nature and green spaces.
About the IEEP: The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) is an independent, not for profit institute dedicated to advancing an environmentally sustainable Europe through analysis and development.