In a greener environment-raised children to develop according to a Danish study, in the course of her life, of rare mental disorders. As researchers at the University of Aarhus reports, there is among people, the meadows surrounded by forests, gardens or Parks, up to 55 percent lower risk for mental illness than among those who grow up without the like. The researchers see this as evidence that green spaces, forests and Parks promote mental health. Accordingly, cities should be, in your view, green.

For in the US scientific journal PNAS published study (Engemann et al., 2019) was investigated on the basis of satellite images from the years 1985 to 2013, the landscape around the homes of almost one Million people in Denmark. In addition, the researchers looked at the long-term health data of all between 1985 and 2003-born Danes, and Danes, who grew up at least up to the tenth year of age in Denmark, and studied their risk to develop in the course of life, one of 16 different mental health disorders. In the evaluation of a connection.

“With our data set, we show that the risk of developing a mental disorder decreases gradually, the longer one is from birth up to the age of ten years, surrounded by green areas,” explains the lead author Kristine Engemann. “Green areas are in the Childhood, therefore, extremely important.” It is not necessarily a bad thing, when you grow up in a city, as long as there is enough green space.

writes, However, so the team of scientists themselves, the study found only a statistical correlation: Where more Green is, people are more likely to be mentally healthy. If the Grow is in the countryside but for the cause, may not prove such an evaluation. The effect could arise, for example, also, because wealthier, educated, socially better-off people are likely to consider the Green – and that would be only some of the factors that could also have influence on the incidence of mental illness. Some of them have proven it.

In their study, had the researchers, different of such socio-economic factors involved, and the statistical effect is still observed. They suggest, however, that their results rate due to non-measured impacts, such as crime or lack of social benefits could have been influenced in disadvantaged cities. In your opinion, further studies are necessary to investigate the connection between the place of residence, other factors – including genetic and mental health in more detail.

Nevertheless, they stress: “There is increasing evidence that the natural environment plays a larger role in mental health than previously thought,” said Engemann. This Knowledge is not least important because a growing living part of the world’s population in cities.

too many people, Too little contact

The view that life in the city is a risk factor, even among professionals in Germany. “People in the city react differently to social Stress than those in the country,” says Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg from the Central Institute of Mental health in Mannheim, Germany. “We know that there are also in Germany such a difference between city and country.”

Only a few years ago, the threshold had been exceeded, that worldwide, more people lived in cities in than in the country, says the psychiatrist. “Urbanization as such is increasing incredibly. This is a rapid process.” Studies such as the Danes showed that green areas could also protect the townspeople a bit of prior mental illness.

too many people, Too little contact On this formula, you could break the location in the city. “This social Stress is from my point of view, from the simultaneity of social density, Overcrowding and social Isolation,” says another psychiatrist, the Berlin-based stress researchers, Mazda Adli of the private Fliedner hospital Berlin and Charité. If you, for example, live in a cramped Council flat, where you can’t hear the TV, the other through the thin walls, the neighbors know, don’t feel you belong to. “If this, then even a very low level of environmental mastery – the feeling so that you have the environment under control – come on, it’s difficult.” The study from Aarhus close an important information gap on the impact of green spaces on health.

in addition to the question of what the Green actually makes the brain to stay open, what is the level of green areas is sufficient, “Which Green is green enough? It is sufficient to have a Lawn or live in the vicinity? Or it is necessary to use the active? Rich trees, or it must be a forest?”, asks Adli. These are crucial questions when it comes to planning cities and reshape you to be good for mental health.


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