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People who live near green spaces are generally happier and report improved physical and mental health. The unfortunate truth, according to a recent article by Grist, we only spend about 5% of our time outside.
Maybe the answer to some of the largest health problems we face in today’s society isn’t as complicated as we think. We may not need extreme medications or interventions. The solution is simple. All we need is a little bit of greenery.
Obesity has become one of the largest epidemics in the United States. People of all ages, races, and ethnicities are effected by it.
Interestingly enough, people in Denmark living within 330 yards of green spaces were less likely to be obese and more likely to engage in rigorous exercise (grist.org).
In urban areas, it is evident that there is a lack of exposure to nature and green space, but here at Green City Growers we are working to change that. Adding more productive urban farms in places that would otherwise be unused would not only add beauty and function to a previously unproductive space, but it would also work to reduce the epidemic of obesity by providing immediate access to fresh, healthy food and encouraging more exercise.
A recent report from Natural England shows that taking part in nature-based activities can contribute reducing levels of anxiety, stress and depression.
“Whatever the weather, however small or urban the garden, the gardener is made mindful of the here and now. Having your hands in the dirt and repeating tasks such as weeding or planting focuses your energy and allows you the freedom to escape the normal background noise of thoughts and feelings” (Ed Harkness).
Nature can greatly impact ones mental health and overall well-being. By adding productive urban gardens in areas that lack access to green space would positively impact the people living in those urban communities.
Urbanization will continue, but we can move forward with it. Nature has been proven to help treat the physical and mental problems that so many people now face. Therefore, the installation of urban farms is an innovative, progressive way to approach public health.