Natural environments have a direct impact on Health and well-being. They can indeed promote active leisure, providing a place to relax that allows daily stress to be forgotten for a certain period. In addition to its beneficial effects in terms of psychological relaxation, stress reduction And in an increase in physical activity, green spaces also provide an advantage that has not yet been highlighted: Connecting with nature would also reduce loneliness in people living in urban areas, as shown in a study by a team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in United Kingdom and published in “Scientific Reports”.
The scientific team confirms that people who enjoy nature in urban areas tend to do so feel less lonely From those who stay at home, a note was generated through the use of a smartphone app called “Urban Mind”. Developed by researchers and landscape architects, this app was created to allow people to measure their life experiences In rural or urban areas. Users are invited to respond, at three random times during the day for fifteen days, to questions regarding their state of mind including their degree of loneliness, social environment and communication. with nature.
The winning narrative: social inclusion and nature walks
This data was then analyzed by researchers to identify factors that may be driving people feeling alone. A condition they say “kills more people than obesity or air pollution.” In total, the data of 756 volunteer users were analyzed between early 2018 and early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Then they discovered that overcrowding was indeed a determining factor that led to it Increased feeling of loneliness In 39% of volunteers on average. But scientists have also found that people who live in cities can reduce their feelings of loneliness by visiting parks or otherwise. Nature type areas.
So when the participants were walking in a green space, When thinking about trees or listening to a bird’s song, their feelings of loneliness decreased by 28%. And when the volunteers were in places where they felt socially integrated, their feelings of loneliness decreased by 21%. finally, When social inclusion It was happening in a nature-like environment, loneliness decreased the most by an additional 8%. These results are important because they confirm the conclusions of previous studies on the fact that the two workers combined Connecting with nature And social inclusion can reduce loneliness.
These findings further suggest that “health professionals can do more Reduce the feeling of collective loneliness It is felt by people who live in cities. ”, add the researchers. The latter therefore believes that cities do not automatically harm mental health, provided, “to improve and maintain green spaces and improve pedestrian potential.” big cities Because it can help reduce the burden of loneliness in densely populated areas. It should be noted that the study was conducted before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these results may be more convincing at present.