City dwellers should visit parks more often and take advantage of this free and easy way to boost their physical and mental health, environmental scientists have urged. New research from the National Environmental Research Program’s Environmental Decisions Hub (NERP’s EDH) shows that despite the abundance of parks in Australian cities, only 60 per cent of the urban population are using these facilities in any week. This means that 40 per cent of us are missing out on the vast array of health benefits that parks offer, including a lower risk of developing heart disease, stress, anxiety and depression, says Dr Danielle Shanahan of NERP EDH and the University of Queensland (UQ).
Dr Richard Fuller of NERP EDH and UQ says that research worldwide continues to discover the health benefits of being in nature. “For example, spending ten minutes in a park every day – even when we’re not exercising in it – has been shown to lower our blood pressure.”
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