Thursday, October 10, 2013

Positive Impact of Nature on Mental Wellbeing

Four key questions were asked by MENE, which the Office of National Statistics has already used to assess levels of mental wellbeing amongst the UK’s adult population:
  • Life satisfaction: Overall, how satisfied are you with life nowadays?
  • Worthwhile: Overall, to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  • Happiness: Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
  • Anxiety: Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?
On a scale from 0 (‘not at all’) to 10 (‘completely’), the highest levels of happiness were recorded by people who typically visit the outdoors more than once a week (mean score of 7.7) and people who take part in gardening (7.6). People who strongly agreed that they “are glad natural places existed, even if they didn’t visit them” also fell within this group recording high levels of happiness (7.7). Happiness levels are also found to be closely correlated with part time workers, ‘empty nesters’ (55+ and no children at home) and retired people with no disabilities.

In terms of people most likely to rate their life activities as “worthwhile”, the highest scores came from people who walk or cycle whenever possible, are members of an environmental organisation, and who buy seasonal or locally grown food (mean score of 8.5). Those who take part in gardening, watching wildlife and doing unpaid voluntary work also rate their activities as highly worthwhile (8.4), as do people who visit the outdoors every day (8.2). Disability, gender, lifestage and housing tenure were useful filters in showing that women in employment, living in an owned/mortgaged house, are most likely to rate their life activities as worthwhile

- More Here

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