Green Space Promotes Better Mental Health in Older Adult


About the Author: Matt Latham is Chief Executive Officer of Warren County Park District. The Park District manages over 1,700 acres of green space for the all Warren County residents and visitors to enjoy. For more information, check out their website at or email

LEBANON, OH -- Many of us know by our own lived experience that parks and open space are essential tools for managing stress and promoting better mental health. Now, scientists are performing research studies to test whether there is data to support these intuitions. Washington State University has recently added to this body of knowledge with a study documenting the benefits of green space particularly for older adults.

The study, conducted by Adithya Vegaraju and Solmaz Amiri and published in the journal Health & Place, looked at how the amount of green space (parks and open space) and blue space (bodies of water) in various ZIP codes around Washington State related to physical and mental health outcomes for residents aged 65 and over.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Guided walk for the elderly, Churchland Wood by Patrick Roper

The study found that having a higher amount of green space nearby was associated with a reduction in incidences of serious psychological distress, which is defined as a mental health problem that interferes with a person’s daily life and requires treatment. The study also found that having more green space close by was associated with a lower percentage of older adults reporting their general health as fair or poor. Researchers also found lower rates of psychological distress among those living closer to streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes.

The Washington State study is just one aspect of a growing body of research that links green space to improved mental health outcomes and better psychological well-being across various demographics. Natural spaces offer a respite from the stress of modern living, allowing us to unwind, disconnect from the pressures of daily life, and mentally recharge.

Access to green space promotes physical activity and social interaction, both of which contribute significantly to mental well-being and overall health. Parks provide an ideal setting for exercise, whether it's walking, jogging, or other recreational activities. They also serve as meeting places where people come together, interact, and build relationships, helping to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The relationship between access to green space and better mental health underscores the importance of providing access to parks and natural spaces across Warren County. By prioritizing the preservation of green space in our region, we can significantly contribute to the mental health and overall quality of life of our residents.

For more information on this study:

More News from Lebanon
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified