Staying in nature Not only is it pleasant, it can also undermine mental health. Previous studies have concluded that forest walks can reduce the risk of depression and that natural environments reduce the level of stress.
Now a new Danish study, published in the journal PNAS and the Psychologist, shows that there is a connection between growing in an urban environment with little access to green areas and an increased risk of mental illness as an adult.
The results showed that the risk of mental illness increased by 15-55 per cent among children who grew up in urban areas – independent risk factors, such as socioeconomic circumstances and the history of mental illness of parents. Those who showed the least signs of mental illness in adulthood were participants who had nature close to their childhood.
The researchers were able to determine the result after collecting data from a Danish population study with over 900,000 participants and high resolution satellite images.
The study does not include an explanation of the results, but researchers argue that it gives reasons for urban planners to increase access to green areas in urban areas.