A study by a collaboration led by Swansea University Medical School will investigate whether spending time in our parks and beaches can have a positive effect on our long-term well-being and mental health.
According to the University; one in four people experience a mental health condition such as anxiety and depression at some time in their lives and mental health problems cost the UK economy over £100bn a year.
The National Institute of Health Research is investing in a collaboration to explore whether spending time in our blue and green spaces can help our mental health.
Experts from Swansea University, the University of Exeter, Cardiff University and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, will receive funding to enable researchers to take a large-scale population approach, considering the majority of Wales’ environment and population, and changes over time.
The team of academics will work with partners from Natural Resources Wales, Keep Wales Tidy, Sports Wales, City and County of Swansea, and Welsh Government.
The team will consider how accessibility of different types of green and blue spaces relate to mental health and wellbeing benefits for different people.
Researchers will look at data for 1.7 million people in Wales to explore how people change their use of health services, such as their general practitioner, as their local environment changes.