City Parks Lift Mood as Much as Christmas

Posted on August 22, 2019

With the increasing prevalence of mood disorders, taking walks in the park might do some good for individuals living in cities. Urban parks play an important role in helping to improve the mental health for people, with its extensive greenery and blooming flowers that enhances positive moods. The more vegetation and tree cover available in the parks, the more it helps to lift the moods of visitors.

A recent study investigates the effects of going to parks on the moods of individuals by interpreting their posts on Twitter for three months. Participants were asked to rate the words they associate with happiness on a scale, and words such as “flowers” and “parks” are amongst the words which were rated highly as happy words. Geotagging was useful for the studies as it enables researchers to know which parks the Twitter users are currently in.

Through these tools and information, the mood changes in individuals before, during and after they visited parks can be determined.

People are happier when they go to parks not just because they are away from work, but also because being in the presence of flowers and vegetation helps to boost their moods positively, as shown in tweets related to parks. Places like civic plazas and squares did not increase positive moods as much as parks do. Additionally, bigger and greener parks were found to improve people’s moods to a larger extent.

While Twitter users might not be representative of all individuals, they still represent a broad demographic. In the presence of nature, people may receive restorative benefits related to mental health which are not found through shopping in a mall or looking at screens. The findings revealed in this study can help health authorities to design more urban greeneries so as to benefit the general public.


Source material from Science Daily