A new study has found that people who travel, walk or cycle through the natural environment are more likely to develop better mental health than the ones who travel less. Natural environments are inclusive of all public and private outdoor spaces which contain green and blue natural elements like trees, forests, city parks and natural parks, reserves and water bodies of all types.
A scientist from a renowned university says, “Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with living in urban environments. The urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking.”
A study consisted of 3600 participants who were given a questionnaire to fill telling about their traveling habit and their mental health.
The results show that the respondents traveling through natural environments every day had 2.74 higher mental health score when compared to those who traveled through natural environments less frequently.
The bond was even stronger among the people who traveled actively. The team of the scientists said, “From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments.”
“Although this study is the first of its kind to our knowledge and, therefore, more research will be needed, our data show that commuting through these natural spaces alone may also have a positive effect on mental health.”