Open space and forests provide opportunities for exercise, physical activity and relaxation. Contact with nature is associated with health benefits such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, enhanced survival after a heart attack, more rapid recovery from surgery, fewer minor medical complaints and lower self-reported stress.
Contact with, or playing in nature can improve concentration and enhance mental development and creativity. There is also evidence to suggest that well treed areas reduce crime, encourage better neighbour relationships and reduce aggressive behaviour trees can also provide indirect health benefits by promoting physical activity by making walking and cycling routes aesthetically pleasing.
Physical activity has positive effects on mental and physical health. Research has shown that people are more likely to engage in frequent physical activity when high quality green spaces and urban forests are close by.
People who live in treed neighbourhoods are healthier and report significantly fewer cardio-metabolic conditions (after accounting for socio-economic and demographic factors).
The presence of trees shows a decline in stress levels. Contact with nature can have a therapeutic effect by reducing the stress response of the body and the mind and therefore helping improve physical and mental abilities.