E What if we told you that taking a simple walk in the park could reduce your need to take medication for anxiety, depression, asthma or high blood pressure? “Physical activity is considered to be an important factor mediating the health benefits of green spaces when considering the availability or active use of these spaces,” says Anu Durunen, Finnish Institute of Health and senior researcher, co-author of a new study. Health in Helsinki.
According to the authors of the study published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, enjoying nature three to four times a week was associated with a 36%, 33% and 26% lower risk of using pills for blood pressure, mental health and asthma. , respectively.
The researchers interviewed nearly 6,000 people in Finland’s three largest cities. Participants were asked about their use of green spaces (forests, gardens, parks, cemeteries and, among others, zoos) and blue spaces (lakes, rivers and sea) within one kilometer of their homes.
However, “we can’t say for sure whether it was the proximity or use of green spaces that led to the reduction in drug use,” says Lincoln Larson, associate professor at North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources. Not involved in the study.