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If you live in the city – take a walk in the park to be well and stay well.

Getting reconnected with nature.

A study conducted by the University of Queensland (UQ) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED); it found that visiting parks delivered benefits such as: – reduced risk of developing heart disease, – stress, – anxiety and depression.

A walk in the park does you good.

The report stated that ‘If city residents all went to a park for a half hour weekly, there would be 7 percent fewer cases of depression and 9 percent fewer cases of high blood pressure.’ I completely get that. When I arrived in London I noticed two things. How busy and crowded the city was. And how the parks gave you space to breathe, be apart from the throng and feel more peaceful. Clearly I’m not alone in this feeling.
“If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week there would be seven per cent fewer cases of depression and nine percent fewer cases of high blood pressure,” says UQ CEED researcher Dr. Danielle Shanahan.
She added that, “Given that the societal costs of depression alone in Australia are estimated at $A12.6 billion a year, savings to public health budgets across all health outcomes could be immense.”
UQ CEED researcher Associate Professor Richard Fuller said the research could change people’s attitudes about city parks. “We’ve known for a long time that visiting parks is good for our health, but we are now beginning to establish exactly how much time we need to spend in parks to gain these benefits,” he says. “We have specific evidence that we need regular visits of at least half an hour to ensure we get these benefits.” So if you are feeling like a refresher, get out of the confines of an office and commune with nature. It’s simple, free and as the research proves, it’s good for you. Naturally, for those of you that do this all the time, it’ll be no surprise. If you’re pre-scheduled to the hilt, make a date with the outdoors. Be well. Stay well. Michelle

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