Street trees close to home may reduce the risk of depression

1 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Street trees close to home may reduce the risk of depression

Having street trees closer to your home may reduce the risk of depression and the need for antidepressants, research has shown, reports The Independent.

Multiple studies already show that mental health can be strongly impacted by environment so a German research team tried to assess if everyday objects people engage with – such as trees dotted along the pavement – could have a positive impact.

They analysed data from 10,000 residents of Leipzig, Germany, and found a correlation between the amount of street trees and antidepressants prescribed to a patient.          

A larger amount of trees less than 100 metres from someone’s home was associated with a lower risk of having antidepressants, the researchers said.

The correlation was especially strong for more deprived groups who are more likely to be prescribed medication for depression in Germany.

Lead author of the study Dr Melissa Marselles said: “Our finding suggests that street trees – a small scale, publicly accessible form of urban greenspace – can help close the gap in health inequalities between economically different social groups.