So now we have proof.
Recent studies employing land-use data and satellite technology have reported that access to green space within a kilometre of one's residence is associated with improved mental health. Indeed, large population studies show that those with the least green space within one kilometre of home have a 25 per cent greater risk of depression and a 30 per cent higher risk of an anxiety disorder.
Multiple studies from Japan show spending time in forests can lower stress, improve mental outlook, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Separate studies have shown similar cognitive-enhancing effects of short periods spent in natural settings.
Spending just 20 minutes in vegetation-rich nature has been shown to improve vitality. Given that vitality is defined in psychological lexicon as emotional strength in the face of internal and external oppositions, and living life with enthusiasm and zest, the implications for personal and planetary health are enormous.