Local green space benefits men, but not women
Green space affects men's and women's health differently, researchers have recently reported.Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow evaluated the health of 29 million adults living in urban areas around the UK. They found that men are 10% less likely to die from lung problems if they live in neighbourhoods with green spaces, whereas women show no such appreciable difference."The result was a real surprise," said project head Professor Richard Mitchell, "because up to now the assumption has been that green spaces are good for everyone."But researchers acknowledge that the study has not fully explained the gender gap. University of Edinburgh geoscientist Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said, "Women tend to use green spaces less than men and are less likely to use them for exercise, particularly if the green space doesn't feel safe."Funded by the Forestry Commission and published in the journal of Social Science and Medicine, the study is the first of its kind to examine gendered health responses to neighbourhood parks. It is also the first to make a comprehensive study of the health implications of green space in all urban areas of the UK.