New Study on Green Spaces and Mental Health

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

This observational study looked at how green space is associated with mental health. Some research has suggested living near more green space may be associated with benefits.

Study looked at how green space is associated with mental health

This analysis included nearly 47,000 city-dwelling adults in Australia and examined how living near different kinds of green space (including tree canopy, grass and low-lying vegetation) may be associated with risk of psychological distress, self-reported physician-diagnosed depression or anxiety, and fair to poor self-reported general health.

The three outcomes

The three outcomes were examined at baseline and follow-up about six years later. The authors report exposure to more tree canopy was associated with a lower likelihood of psychological distress and better self-rated general health. No green space indicator was associated with depression or anxiety.

Exposure to more grass

Exposure to low-lying vegetation wasn’t consistently associated with any outcome. Exposure to more grass was associated with a higher likelihood of reporting fair to poor general health and prevalent psychological distress. Limitations of the study include self-reported health outcomes and green space availability that may have decreased in some areas over time, which may mean the results underestimate the associations.


  1. Astell-Burt, T & Feng, X. (2019) Association of Urban Green Space With Mental Health and General Health Among Adults in Australia. JAMA Network Open.

Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.

Node Smith graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in 2017, and is currently licensed as a naturopathic physician in Oregon and working towards becoming licensed in Saskatchewan, Canada as well.

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