A recent armchair study took another look at data collected from the British Household Panel Survey.
The full restorative effect of nature was noted in people who had physically relocated to greener areas; while those that moved to an inner city location wrecked havoc in their lives. How these researchers were able to determined the mental health of the test subjects was not fully disclosed. Probably, it was simply self reported survey data that was crunched by computer with statistical analysis in order to provide a mental health score that was related to markers of self satisfaction, mood, and confidence among other things.
What was different about this study is that it was a longitudinal analysis which determined that a long term effect was produced that lasted for 3 years after relocating.
How Green Helps to Reduce Stress
How green is green? Obviously, people can live miles apart from their nearest neighbor in total isolation from modern life, such as in Alaska. They can live miles apart from neighbors but close enough to commute to a major city within a couple hours drive, such as out in the Western United States. In urban areas, people live in a neighborhood that is neither all country nor big city or has in other words some convenience stores, restaurants, and businesses close by. Or, they could live in the middle of a major metropolitan area that is mostly concrete and full of tall buildings.
This study strongly suggests that people should regularly spend time communing with nature as an easy way to reduce stress in their lifes. Depending upon where you live you should either spend more time outside doing yard work; or take the time to regularly visit a city park.