Researchers from King’s College London, Nomad Projects and J & L Gibbons, worked in partnership with those from Canal & River Trust to analyze the impact of water bodies and green spaces on our mood. For this they used a mobile app called UrbanMind which allowed them to collect information in real time on the mental state of thousands of study participants. They then discovered that spend time near the canals and rivers is linked to feeling happy and healthy.
Spend time in an environment that combines green spaces, wild animals and water bodies is therefore beneficial to our health and our well-being. His impact is much more important than that of a simple green space.
These works were the first of their kind to have been able to establish a link cause and effect between the presence of watercourses or canals and our mental well-being.
Well-being and mental health depend on the environment
The data collected by Urban Mind highlighted the positive effects what canals and rivers have on our mind. The application also made it possible to understand how other environments such as green spaces or certain urban centers can create feelings of safety and social inclusion.
Andrea Mechelli, professor of early intervention in mental health at King’s College London, said that the plant capacity to improve well-being is optimized by the presence of water. The association of the blue and green color is much more impactful and contributes to our mental health.
Visiting green spaces surrounded by bodies of water helps strengthen your mind
Funded by the Center for biomedical research from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundationthis study made it possible to advance in the supported mental illnesses.
The data processed by the Urban Mind application provided researchers with a factual basis to understand how water and well-being are linked. They even claim that visiting canals and rivers could be part of social prescribing programs aimed at strengthening our mental health.