Ten years after researchers first found that “blue spaces” could be good for us, the concept is proving to be a powerful, practical tool for mental health. An 18-country analysis published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that children exposed to blue spaces, such as inland lakes and coastal areas, were more likely to report better well-being in adulthood.The mental health benefits of everyday encounters with birdlife for mental health are poorly understood. Previous studies have typically relied on retrospective questionnaires or artificial set-ups with little ecological validity. In the present study, we used the Urban Mind smartphone application to examine the impact of seeing or hearing birds on self-reported mental wellbeing in real-life contexts. A sample of 1292 participants completed a total of 26,856 ecological momentary assessments between April 2018 and October 2021. Everyday encounters with birdlife were associated with time-lasting improvements in mental wellbeing. These improvements were evident not only in healthy people but also in those with a diagnosis of depression, the most common mental illness across the world. These findings have potential implications for both environmental and wildlife protection and mental healthcare policies. Specific measures, aimed at preserving and increasing everyday encounters with birdlife in urban areas, should be implemented.

Study finds that spending time near water at a young age is linked to greater well-being later in life.We have long known that connecting with nature in green spaces is great for our mental health. Now fresh research is showing that time near water – by the coast, rivers and even fountains in the park – is even more restorative. You might assume that walking in a forest would reap similar benefits, but blue spaces have an added edge over green ones.The blend of both blue and green space eases anxiety and relieves stress, researchers explain.

This is how ‘blue spaces’ can improve our health

The mental and physical health benefits of green spaces have been well documented, but could blue spaces – like canals and rivers – have a similar effect?. Positive exposure to blue spaces, such as spending time playing at coastal locations or at lakes, during childhood is associated with a greater sense of well-being later in life.Coastal environments have been shown to improve our health, body and mind. So should doctors start issuing nature-based prescriptions?.

Can living organisms become resistant to all viruses? How do we detect even the smallest, earliest stage cancer? What health-related data should we be sharing with one another? This year, CERN Sparks! dives headfirst into what future technology for health looks like, how we get there and what ethical questions we will need to answer along the way. CERN has been involved in the health applications of particle physics research since the 1970s. Sparks! uses this as a starting point to open up the conversation to a wide range of health professionals from different fields. Bringing together fantastic minds is our speciality, and this year’s podcast, talk line-up and forum are no exception. What is Sparks!? Sparks! is a series of podcasts, talks and forum events organised around a particular theme of interest to CERN and society. The aim is to spark connections and diversity of thought by sharing perspectives from multidisciplinary experts, and to inspire our audiences. Listen to the podcast The CERN Sparks! podcast brings together leading figures in their fields to examine the potential of technology to change lives. We also ask important questions about medical ethics, equity and the benefits of open science, in discussion with Jennifer Doudna, recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry; Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust; George Church, the “founding father of genomics”; Pushmeet Kohli, head of research for DeepMind’s AlphaFold project, and many others. The six episodes span topics from the biological revolution to the power of collaboration. Listen to the podcast on our website or on your favourite audio platform. Watch the talks How can we prevent deficiencies, injuries and diseases before they even have a chance to strike? What should we be working on together globally? How can we make sure treatments are shared around the world? How do we prevent the next pandemic? The CERN Sparks! talks are organised in two sessions: Treating People, with an expert line-up who will explore the technologies that will make it possible to treat more people with more precision in the future and, shifting the mindset from treatment to prevention, Keeping People Healthy, where the speakers will focus on how research moves us towards never being ill. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist; Jane Metcalfe, founder of Neo Life and Wired magazines; and Rolf Apweiler, director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), are among this year’s prestigious guests. The CERN Sparks! talks will take place on 17 November between 4.00 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. Stream the talks at home on CERN’s YouTube channel or partner with us to get a high-quality streaming service for larger groups – we want the talks to be enjoyed across the world! Reach out to us to organise a viewing for your organisation. Connect through the Serendipity Forum How do you foster serendipity? This was the challenge we set ourselves: to create a space that allows serendipitous connections and ideas to emerge – to not only allow conversations around future technology for health, but bring diversity of thought into the mix. In order to do so, after the inspiring podcast and talks, an innovative forum will take 50 participants on a journey through seven key topic areas. They will have the space and freedom to discuss the topics from multiple points of view to allow an expansion of thought and understanding – an exercise in blue-sky thinking. There is also an academic side to this: last year’s forum discussions led to the drafting of a CERN Yellow Paper, which will be published shortly; a similar paper will be compiled this year. Additionally, Sparks! will be teaming up with Frontiers for Young Minds, an open access scientific journal for children, to write a summary of the event, which will be peer-reviewed by 12-year-olds! If you’re streaming the talks, we encourage you to organise your own space for a forum ­– as formally or informally as you like! This could mirror our forum at CERN and take our discussion topics as starting points, or could even be informal coffee chats. Contact us here to find out more. We want to spark ideas, after all! Sparks! is part of the CERN & Society programme. CERN & Society activities are only possible thanks to the support of our partners, in particular Rolex, which has a long-standing association with CERN. The 2022 Sparks! event is also supported by the Didier and Martine Primat Foundation. Parks, urban forests, tree-lined streets and riverbanks support urban well-being by providing space for rest, relaxation and exercise, and by keeping temperatures down. However, not everyone across Europe enjoys equal access to green space in cities. This briefing reviews the evidence of socio-economic and demographic inequalities in access to the health benefits derived from urban green and blue spaces across Europe. It showcases examples of green spaces that were designed to meet the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged social groups.Christchurch-based scientist, and University of Canterbury Lecturer, Dr Essie Rodgers has been awarded the 2022 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science New Zealand fellowship to further her research into conservation and how the quality of waterways impacts .

Lawmakers and local officials say the state needs to find money to sidestep nearly 23% increases in premiums for local workers in the state’s health plan. Despite a looming ban on gasoline cars, Californians rejected Prop 30, a measure to boost cleaner vehicles.Research into public health benefits of integrating nature into cities has focused on green spaces. New studies suggest water features are just as useful and can piggyback on other infrastructure goals.

More blue spaces in cities could help our mental health

Michail Georgiou and Sebastien Chastin explain why water is good for our mental health and how we can get more blue spaces in our cities. . Blue spaces improve mood and well-being • Earth.com. Reviews published literature on the social and health benefits of rivers, lakes and coastal waters – referred to collectively as ‘Blue Space’.As summer edges closer and temperatures gradually rise, more and more of us will take to the water in search of a range of benefits for body and mind.

. Experience the healing powers of water whether you’re by the ocean or the swimming pool.A new study is revealing how blue space exposure as a child will help long into adulthood when it comes to mental health.High-quality green and blue spaces in cities, like parks, allotments, riverbanks and coastlines, are crucial for health and well-being, in particular for the elderly, children and people on low incomes. However, a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, shows that access is not equal.

. Green spaces are beneficial for children’s lung health • Earth.com. From relaxing baths to seaside swims, water can be a balm in difficult times. Catherine Kelly, the author of a new book on blue spaces, shares her tips. Background Time spent outdoors and in nature has been associated with numerous benefits to health and well-being. We examined relationships between park access and mental health for children and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also explored associations between park access and co-participation of parent and child in time outdoors, and child and parent physical activity. Methods We used data from 1,000 respondents to a nationally representative U.S. survey of parent–child dyads during October–November 2020. Park access was defined as an affirmative response to: “do you have a park that you can safely walk to within 10 min of your home?” Child mental health was operationalized as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) total difficulties score. The Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4) total score assessed parent mental health and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) assessed parent physical activity. Child physical activity and co-participation in outdoor activity were reported as number of days in the prior week. Linear regression was used to examine relationships between park access and health outcomes in models adjusted for child and parent characteristics and COVID-19 impact. Results Our sample included 500 parents of children ages 6–10 years, and 500 parent–child dyads of children ages 11–17 years. Park access was associated with a lower SDQ total score among children (β: -1.26, 95% CI: -2.25, -0.27) and a lower PHQ-4 total score among parents (β: -0.89, 95% CI: -1.39, -0.40). In models stratified by child age, these associations were observed for SDQ scores among adolescents ages 11–17 and for PHQ-4 scores among parents of children ages 6–10 years. Park access was also associated with 0.50 more days/week of co-participation in outdoor time (95% CI: 0.16, 0.84), and higher levels of parent physical activity (β: 1009 MET-min/week, 95% CI: 301, 1717), but not child physical activity (β: 0.31 days/week, 95% CI: -0.03, 0.66). Conclusions Park access was associated with better mental health among children and parents, and more parent physical activity and parent–child co-participation in outdooractivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to nearby parks may be an important resource to promote health and well-being, for both individuals and families.There is a direct connection between the tidiness of our homes and the tidiness of our minds. Experts walk through the mental health benefits of a decluttered home, and how to get started today.We’re beginning to understand just how vital access to natural space is for our mental well-being – with implications for how we design cities worldwide.