Park life boosts morale as much as Christmas, survey shows

(Reuters News, 20 Aug 2019) Trees in cities are already credited with cooling and cleaning the air, along with absorbing planet-warming gases.

Sad city dwellers should seek solace in a local park, according to a survey tracking tweets that showed a leafy walk lifts morale as much as Christmas among Twitter users.

Trees in cities are already credited with cooling and cleaning the air, along with absorbing planet-warming gases - but a team or researchers from the University of Vermont, in the United States, found they also cause happiness.

"Visiting parks leads people to being happier," the survey's lead researcher, Aaron Schwartz, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

The authors scanned thousands of Twitter messages posted by more than 4,600 people from 160 parks and other leafy areas, like squares and playgrounds, in San Francisco between May and August 2016 for words indicating glee and elation.

Posts were then compared with messages the same users sent out before and after the green stroll.

They found that, on average, people used happier words and expressed less negativity while visiting a park and for up to four hours afterwards.

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Reuters News, 20 Aug 2019: Park life boosts morale as much as Christmas, survey shows