Using greenspace as a community based asset to improve mental and physical health

Green spaces in rural and urban areas have been shown in the general population to be highly beneficial to health and wellbeing, and enhance social interaction. Linking with the older people with frailty theme there is scope to go beyond traditional medical approaches and consider public health strategies that can target the unmet health and social care needs of older adults by harnessing the physical and mental health benefits of green space. This is likely to be achieved by developing strategies that blend big data driven intelligence about the wider determinants of ill-health with the development and implementation of placed-based and asset-based solutions, with a focus on improving mental and physical health together.

We will build big data platforms that generate new knowledge about the relationships between exposure to natural environment and health states in older adults.

We plan to develop novel engagements between local NHS services, service users, providers of environmental resources and third sector partners.

We will coproduce and test interventions promoting physical activity, social engagement and interaction with the natural environment, such as green and blue spaces.

Project lead: Dr Peter Coventry | peter.coventry@york.ac.uk