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Living close to Greenspace protected against depression during the pandemic
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Living close to Greenspace protected against depression during the pandemic

CHOP study released about the impact of greenspace on mental health during the pandemic

As many people can attest, going outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic boosted mental health. Our local trail use even increased a whopping 138%. And now a study has backed our assumptions.

Living close to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic likely buffered mental health and curbed depression, according to a new study from the Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania.

Researchers collected data from zip codes with tree-rich greenspaces, parks, and preserves between April 6t and October 12, 2020. They compared four mental health indicators including COVID-19-related worries, anxiety symptoms, depression symptoms, and a combination of the first three.

The study found that nearby greenspace had a significant positive impact on mental health. Additionally, age affected how people experienced the benefits, with the largest impact on the oldest participants (51 and up) and those between the ages of 31 – 38.

Living close to green vacant lots in cities reported has significantly lower feelings of depression and worthlessness compared to blighted lots.


Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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