Access to green space associated with improved wellbeing

Question

Does garden space improve older adults wellbeing?

What was done?

A survey was send out to older adults asking them about their neighbourhood environments, particularly with respect to outdoor space. Questionnaires on wellbeing were also completed.

What was found?

Having one’s own patio and having a green view from one’s living area had a positive association with wellbeing.

How does this affect me?

Spending time in green space may improve your wellbeing.

Article Abstract
The purpose of this research was to investigate the role of outdoor housing environment (OHE), including front and back gardens, yards, courtyards, patios and balconies, in older people’s well-being. Descriptions of their OHEs were collected from 2558 individuals living in 526 distinct housing developments using a postal questionnaire. A large range of background variables were measured, mainly through the questionnaire. Characteristics of respondents’ immediate neighbourhood environments were measured from digital maps and satellite/bird’s-eye images. Among the OHE variables, statistically significant predictors of well-being were having one’s own patio (as opposed to shared or none), and having a green view from one’s living area (a positive effect on well-being). The authors conclude that it would be beneficial for older people’s housing to include private patio space, where possible, as well as a large amount of greenery. The research supports the claim that older people benefit from green space as much by viewing it from inside as spending time in it. If older people have no or very little garden space, a green street environment is likely to increase their well-being, especially if it can be seen from their home.

Keywords: Green space, outdoors, patio, garden, wellbeing

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