What is the effect of green spaces on the health of the Portuguese during lockdown?

Understanding the impact of exposure to green spaces on the mental and physical health of the Portuguese people, during the period of confinement, originated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the objective of the new study of the Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP).

A study, developed in partnership with the Catalan research group “Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability”, from the Universitat Autonoma in Barcelona, and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, aim to understand how exposure to green spaces, indoors and outdoors, such as contact with green roofs, private gardens and public parks, during the period of confinement we are living in, affects the health and well-being of the Portuguese citizens.

According to Ana Isabel Ribeiro, ISPUP researcher, who is responsible for the Portuguese version of the study, that is also being applied to the Spanish population, it is known that “a greater exposure to green and natural environments is associated with numerous health benefits, namely better levels of mental health”.

“Recent studies have shown that the confinement measures and the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are related to the degradation of mental health, leading to greater levels of stress and anxiety”, refers.

Considering the beneficial effects of the green spaces in health, the study aims to understand if people who have more contact with these spaces are able to cope better with the adverse effects of confinement. For this purpose, people are asked to answer an online survey.

If you are over 18 years, participate in the study

The online survey, available here, can be answered by all citizens over the age of 18 years. The survey covers aspects such as the use and contact  with green spaces and elements, levels of stress, quality of life and somatization of symptoms, including a demographic, social and residential context characterisation module.

“This research will enable us to produce relevant scientific evidence in this area, but for that, we need the participation of the citizens. Take part in this research! Your support is important for us to do Science”, highlights the ISPUP researcher.

Since the same study is being applied to the Spanish population, it will be then possible to carry out comparisons between Portugal and Spain, two countries which are being affected in very different way by the COVID-19 pandemic and which also have different confinement rules.

Imagem: Pixabay/stux

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