Your Outside Mindset

UK Researcher Andy Jones: "Green Space consistently provides 20% reduction in bad things, if we had a pill for that, we would take it."

March 29, 2022 Verla Fortier Episode 32
Your Outside Mindset
UK Researcher Andy Jones: "Green Space consistently provides 20% reduction in bad things, if we had a pill for that, we would take it."
Show Notes

Time stamp interview notes continued on my website: https://treesmendus.com

My new book Optimize Your Heart Rate: Balance Your Mind and Body  With Green Space

1:19 Professor Andy Jones is a public health academic who holds the position of professorial fellow in Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia in the UK. He has wide ranging interests including the pragmatic evaluation of public health interventions, the role of the environment as a determinant of health and related behaviours, and the impact of access to services on health outcomes. He has a strong focus on policy and delivery in his work and collaborates with several key organisations working in this field, including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Cancer Research UK.

Interview timeline:

2:20  childhood, mother took him outside along the Suffolk coastline. Studied environmental science and always interested in health. Nature and health relationship - advocate for both.

4:36  definition and history  of green space, UK companies like Cadbury recognized that if  you wanted productive workers, you needed healthy workers  --  so developed new settlements that integrated green space - 6:47 everyone had a garden

7:31 green space in UK has been an urban centric movement eg massive Hyde Park

09:37  “The health benefits of the great outdoors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of green space exposure and health outcomes.” Published in the Journal Environmental Research, 2018. What did you want to know? The  process?   Individual studies may not offer a strong case for causality but when you combine individual  studies in a way that allows for more broad conclusions. According  to 290 million people  in 140 studies (96% of studies from last 10 years – illustrating the rapid growth in green space and health). Living close to green space and spending time outside has significant and wide ranging benefits. Time in green space reduces risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress, high blood pressure. 

10:02 Review of the literature, systematic, so that somebody else can some along and do the same thing - and would get the same thing. 

10:53 Why  did do review? Take stock, let's try and cut through all the noise and get the signal. Find out what is common. 

11:57  looked at everything except mental health 

12:34 Health outcomes that we can measure - heart rate, heart rate variability HRV, mortality, cortisol levels

13: 26 143 studies - signal, explosion of interest 

14:41 Populations in green space had better health outcome, particularly stress outcomes 1)  heart rate and 2) heart rate variability HRV 3) cardiac mortality

15:56 Results: 20% reduction in bad things, if we had a pill that would do that we would take it. 

17:07  The most surprising thing was the consistency of the findings and size of differences in populations with more green space and those with the least access to green space. 

18:08 Threw out some studies and only kept the highest quality  studies and got the same result. Still consistent. 

19:36 Interesting unanswered questions on quality  of green space. Do we have to use it or is it enough to just look at it?