Study finds green space alleviates PMS
Another health benefit associated with natural environments.
Scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the University of Bergen found that women living in neighbourhoods with more green space had fewer premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms and were less likely to experience anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, breast tenderness or abdominal bloating.
The study, published in Environment International, adds to a growing body of evidence of the health benefits associated with natural environments.
Lead author Kai Triebner, a researcher at the University of Bergen, told The Guardian : “Three of the four symptoms that improved with exposure to green space were psychological, which is consistent with what we already knew: contact with nature helps to reduce stress and improve mental health.”
Triebner said green space lowered levels of cortisol.
“Stress can worsen PMS symptoms and increase levels of the hormone cortisol, and in turn could be associated with an increased release of progesterone, which has been linked to the occurrence of PMS symptoms,” he said.
The research is “another building block” in understanding of what the best conditions are to live healthily.
The research found that women needed to be exposed to green space for a long time to get the most benefits.
“Our research underscores the importance of long-term exposure to green space, which is where benefits against PMS symptoms were found,” said Payam Dadvand from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, another researcher involved in the study.