According to new research, being able to see green spaces in your home is associated with decreased cravings for alcohol, cigarettes and harmful foods.
The study, led by the University of Plymouth, is the first to demonstrate that passive exposure to nearby green spaces is linked to both low frequencies and the strength of cravings.
It builds on previous research suggesting that exercise in nature can reduce cravings, demonstrating that this can be true regardless of physical activity.
Researchers say the findings add to evidence that highlights the need to protect and invest in urban green spaces to maximize the benefits they can bring to public health. They also suggest that the causal link of this link needs to be deepened.
The study, published in the journal Health and place, is the first to study the relationship between exposure to natural environments, the urge to consume a range of appetitive substances and the experience of emotions or negative feelings.
Academics from the School of University Psychology participated in this seminar, with the support of the European Center for Environment and Human Health of the University of Exeter.
Leanne Martin, who led the research as part of her master's degree in Plymouth, said: "It has been known for some time that being outdoors was related to the well-being of a person." But there is a similar association with cravings simply being able to see green spaces adds a new dimension to previous research.It is the first study to explore this idea, which could have many implications for public health programs and environmental protection in the future. "
For research, participants completed an online survey that explored relationships between various aspects of exposure to nature, cravings and negative effects.
Among other things, he measured the proportion of green space in the residential area of an individual, the presence of green views from his house, his access to a garden or a subdivision; and their frequency of use of public green spaces.
The results showed that having access to a garden or plot was associated with both a lower strength and frequency of need, while residential views incorporating more than 25% of green space caused similar reactions.
The study also measured physical activity undertaken in the same amount of time as the one where cravings were assessed, showing that the reduction in cravings had occurred regardless of the level of cravings. physical activity.
Dr. Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor of Psychology (Reader), added, "Craving contributes to a variety of health-damaging behaviors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and unhealthy eating. including cancer, obesity and diabetes, is a promising first step, but it must be shown that insufficient need is linked to increased exposure to green space.Future research should determine if and how green spaces can be used to help people better manage cessation attempts in the future. "
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