Living near green spaces reduces the risk of dementia

Living near parks and green areas can decrease the risk of developing dementia. Conversely, residing in areas with high crime rates may contribute to faster cognitive decline. This is what emerges from a study by Monash University in Melbourne

Neighborhood Impact on Mental Health

The recent research conducted by Monash University in Melbourne has highlighted how the living environment influences mental health. Being close to recreational areas such as parks and gardens can significantly reduce the likelihood of developing dementia. On the other hand, living in high-crime neighborhoods seems to accelerate cognitive decline among residents.

Environmental Factors and Dementia Risk

According to the collected data, doubling the distance from green areas results in a dementia risk equivalent to aging by two and a half years. Moreover, in case of a doubling of the crime rate, memory performance worsens as if chronological age increased by three years. These findings underscore the importance of considering environmental and neighborhood factors in preventing mental decline.

Socioeconomic Disparity and Quality of Life

The data suggests that more disadvantaged communities are the most vulnerable to the negative effects of a lack of green spaces and high crime rates. This study raises relevant questions about urban planning and the need to create healthier and more inclusive neighborhoods, capable of improving the quality of life for all residents.

We’re on the Right Track, but There’s Still Much Work to Be Done

The findings from Monash University provide a solid foundation for developing new strategies and public policies. The goal is to improve the mental health of everyone and reduce the risk of dementia in communities. Creating accessible green spaces and increasing safety in public areas could be concrete solutions. In this way, we could truly enhance people’s quality of life and protect their mental health.


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