Meta-research proves: green helps

#environment #green #health #magdalena van den berg #neighbourhood #vu

Dozens of studies seem to indicate that a green environment is a healthy environment, that plants and trees are beneficial for the well-being of urban citizens. Still some people used to think that all these individual studies do not provide any certainty. In such a situation meta-research can help. For her doctorate thesis dr Magdalena van den Berg of VUmc, the medical Institute of the Amsterdam Free University, compared 40 studies into the relationship between health and the presence of ‘green’ in people’s living environment. Excluding other causes such as age of the inhabitants and other aspects all these studies combined provide proof of a positive relationship: green helps, for a healthy environment.

Dr Van den Berg found 19 studies indicating that more green in a neighbourhood leads to less nervosity and moodiness in its inhabitants. Seven studies show that in a green neighbourhood less people die than in a ‘stony’ area. In general people in the lower socio-economic strata are relatively most helped by ‘green’ in their neighbourhood, because they lack other possibilities for outings, sports and relaxing.