For their research, the scientists asked 3,000 adults in Tokyo, Japan to complete an online questionnaire. The goal was to find out if there were any links between five aspects of mental health – depression, life satisfaction, subjective happiness, self-esteem and loneliness – and two measures of nature experience – frequency of using green space and green view through windows from home.
The study found that the more frequent use of green spaces and the existence of green window views of people’s homes were associated with higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and subjective happiness, not to mention lower levels of depression and loneliness.
“Our results suggest that proximity can serve as a buffer in reducing the adverse effects of a stressful event on humans,” said lead author Masashi Soga, PhD, of the University of Tokyo. “Protecting natural environments in urban areas is important not only for protecting biodiversity, but also for protecting human health.”
The findings are encouraging at a time when lock-in measures have been reintroduced in many countries around the world, especially in urban centers.
This story is published through AFP Relaxnews.