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Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Date:10/15/2009

eir heads and not paying attention, it doesn't do them much good," said Ryan, co-author of a recent study report that people who are exposed to natural elements are more socially oriented, more generous and value community more. Another experiment he was involved in found that people who spent time outdoors had more vitality and energy.

More green space may also be a way for whole communities to become healthier.

"As health-care costs spiral out of control, it behooves us to think about our green space in terms of preventive health care," said Dr. Kathryn J. Kotrla, associate dean and chair of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine Round Rock campus. "This highlights very clearly that our Western notion of body-mind duality is entirely false. The study shows that we are a whole organism, and when we get healthy that means our body and our mind get healthy."

More information

The World Health Organization has more on how environments can affect health.



SOURCES: David Rakel, M.D., director, integrative medicine, and assistant professor of family medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Kathryn J. Kotrla, M.D., associate dean and chair of psychiatry and behavioral science, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine Round Rock campus; Richard Ryan, Ph.D, professor of psychology, psychiatry and education, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Oct. 15, 2009, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, online


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