Boost your well-being in Costa Rica's green space

Costa Rica's green space may boost your happiness

UK study says people are happier outdoors in nature. Visit Costa Rica for the green!Would you be happier living in a greener area?

A UK study says you would. New research from the University of Exeter Medical School and the European Centre for Environment & Human Health in England has found that “people living in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater well-being than city dwellers that don’t have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby.” The research, led by Dr. Mathew White, was published in the journal Psychological Science.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines “green space” as land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation; green space includes parks, community gardens, and cemeteries.

Costa Rica is full of green spaces like this oneDr. White and his team of UK researchers analyzed data from a national survey of more than 10,000 people for nearly 18 years between 1991and 2008. They found that persons who live in green areas have higher life satisfaction and less depression and stress than those who live in concrete-dense areas with few trees and lawns, states the journal Scientific American. This trend held even if residents experienced changes in their income, employment, marital status, housing and health.

Data was derived from the British Household Panel Survey, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of households in the UK that ran annually from 1991-2008, containing over 5,000 households and 10,000 individual adults.

The new research does not prove that moving to a greener area will necessarily cause increased happiness, but it does fit with findings from experimental studies showing that short bouts of time in nature can improve a person’s mood and cognitive functioning.

Spend time exercising in the outdoors to boost your mental healthBeth Murphy, information manager at the mental health charity “Mind” in England, reports: “For people living busy lifestyles in densely populated areas, being able to get outdoors and access green space is a great way to escape the stresses of day-to-day life. Our research has shown that 94% of people who took part in outdoors ‘green exercise’ said it benefited their mental health and can have huge impacts on physical health.”

Costa Rica, known as the “Switzerland of Central America,” has no shortage of green spaces. The entire country is covered with green – rainforest, cloud forest, tropical forest (lowland, moist and dry), swamp, pasture land, coffee plantations, fruit tree orchards, and plantations of sugar cane, bananas and pineapple. The list goes on and on. I’m looking out my window now, from my desk, at a sea of green grass, flowers, trees and shrubs just in my own garden.

The author's garden view in Costa RicaReady for a mental health boost of your own? Escape the stress of daily work, commutes, city life, etc. and dive into Costa Rica’s greenery. Walk in a dense forest beneath trees hundreds of feet tall. Fly on a zip line through the emerald tree canopy. Lounge under a green palm tree beside an aquamarine sea. Tour a coffee plantation and see how that great morning beverage is made. Discover a lost “you” in the misty verdant cloud forest. The possibilities are endless. Seeing “green” yet?

Costa Rica travel agency Team CRT will put you in the heart of Costa Rica’s nature. The agency knows the best of the country, what to do and see, and they personalize it for you, designing your Costa Rica vacation to fit exactly what you want. From nature tours to beach destinations, adventure tours, family vacations, relaxation vacations, honeymoons and golf vacations, Team CRT delivers you unforgettable Costa Rica vacation packages.

Team CRT is committed to sustainable tourism vacations that actively involve the local community in Costa Rica.

By Shannon FarleyTravel to Costa Rica for forests like this with Team CRT

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