Green Flag parks can improve your health
23 October 2009
There has never been a better reason to turn off the TV, pull on your walking shoes and head to your nearest Green Flag Award park as recent research confirms that living near a ‘green space’ has major health benefits.
The research, in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, confirms that the impact is particularly noticeable in reducing rates of mental ill health and the annual rates of 15 out of 24 major physical diseases were also significantly lower among those living closer to green spaces.
There are over 1000 Green Flag Award parks and green spaces across the country so if you don’t have one on your doorstep then why not find out where your nearest Green Flag Award park is and take advantage of the facilities and activities that they have on offer. Events coming up at parks over the next couple of weeks include: An Autumn Tree walk in Holland Park in London; An Autumn Senses Stroll at Phoenix Park in Halton and a Guided Walk about Trees and their uses in Castle Park in Colchester. For further details on all events please visit the Green Flag Award website
Paul Todd from Keep Britain Tidy said: “This is fantastic news for all those people who currently live near any green space but particularly those which currently fly the Green Flag. I would encourage everyone to visit their nearest Green Flag Award park or green space in order to maximize the benefits to their health. There is a wide and varied range of events and activities on offer at all our Green Flag Award parks and you can find further information on our website.”
The researchers from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam looked at the health records of 350,000 people registered with 195 family doctors across the Netherlands.
Only people who had been registered with their GP for longer than 12 months were included because the study assumed this was the minimum amount of time people would have to live in an environment before any effect of it would be noticeable.
The Green Flag Award is the national standard for parks and green spaces and this year over 1000 parks achieved the award. More applications are expected for next year, if you would like to apply for a Green Flag Award then please visit our website
Keep Britain Tidy runs the Green Flag Award in partnership with BTCV and GreenSpace.
Find out more about the Green Flag Award