Why Living Near a Park is Great for Your Health

In St. Paul, Minneapolis, everyone lives within 10 minutes of a public park.

Living near a park is an excellent health advantage.
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Minneapolis leads the nation with the most parks and recreational areas — it’s also the home of the healthiest urbanites in the country.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is actually a one-two punch when it comes to the country’s highest number of parks for any urban areas, according to The New York Times‘ citing of the Trust for Public Land.

It’s no surprise, then, that the area boasts the healthiest population as 100% of its residents live within 10 minutes of a park, compared to about 70% of those in the country’s 100 largest cities.

Now, following suit with Minnesota’s urban example, some 220 mayors of similarly large cities have signed on to bring parks to within a half mile of the people they serve, the Times reported.

“Parks are key to good, healthy cities,” senior vice president for the trust, Adrian Benepe, said.

The trust’s public health director, Hanaa A. Hamdi, added that parks and community green spaces can “reduce violent crime, counter stress and social isolation, — especially for older adults — improve concentration for children with attention deficit disorder, enhance relaxation, and promote self-esteem and resilience.”

About 40% of one’s overall health is determined by your physical environment, Hamdi said, including access to green spaces.

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