Increasing tree cover may be like a ‘superfood’ for community mental health

Increasing tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney and increasing the proportion of homes in urban areas within 10 minutes’ walk of quality green, open and public space are among the New South Wales premier’s new priorities. Cities around Australia have similar goals. In our latest study , we asked if more of any green space will do? Or does the type of green space matter for our mental health? Our results suggest the type of green space does matter. Adults with 30% or more of their neighbourhood covered in some form of tree canopy had 31% lower odds of developing psychological distress. The same amount of tree cover was linked to 33% lower odds of developing fair to poor general health. We also found poorer mental and general health among adults in areas with higher percentages of bare grass nearby, but there’s likely more to that than meets the eye. Read more: Green for wellbeing – science tells us how to design urban spaces that heal us Treed neighbourhoods have a natural appeal to people. How did we do the research? Our research involved tracking changes in health over an average of about six years, for around […]

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