Does City Living Hurt Mental Health?
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
Are people happier in nature with blue skies overhead and fresh green grass underfoot? Could noisy streets, crowded with cars and people, make us unhappy?
The possible mental health effects of city living affects a lot of people. The World Health Organization estimates that 54 percent of the world's population lived in urban areas in 2014. The WHO adds that that amount will increase to 66 percent by 2050.
People often move to cities for better jobs and more cultural activities. But are they putting themselves at risk? Maybe.
Experts at the American Psychiatry Association say that "natural environments or green spaces" do much for good our mental health.
Many studies have shown that nature can calm us and make us feel happy. Nature, experts say, can also help us learn better. And experiencing nature helps people recover from the mental tiredness that comes from day-to-day work.
Other research also suggests that activity in natural outdoor settings can help to reduce the symptoms of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. ADHD is a brain disorder that can effect a person's ability to think clearly.
On the other hand, mental health experts say some research suggests that city living might hurt our mental health. But they cannot say exactly why.
"What are the specific aspects of the urban environment which causes some people to develop mental health issues?"
Andrea Mechelli is a doctor with the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, London.
"There have been studies where people were literally taken out of an urban environment into a rural environment, and their symptoms would improve. And we also see that the greater the city the greater the risk."
Mechelli says that someone who lives in a city is three times more likely to develop psychosis than someone who lives in the country.
Kings College researchers, along with city planners, land and building designers and others wanted to learn more about city living and mental illness. So, they created a smartphone app called Urban Mind. They say they wanted to understand how different parts of the urban environment affect mental wellbeing.
The Urban Mind app measures your experience of city living in the moment. Researchers collected real time information from 108 people. These people answered just over 3,000 questions during a one-week period.
The researchers found that "being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky, and feeling in contact with nature were associated with higher levels of mental well-being."
They also found that these seeming effects of nature were especially strong in those individuals at greater risk of mental health problems.
The Urban Mind Project team says it hopes "the results will inform future urban planning and social policy aimed at improving design and health."
Their report is titled "Urban Mind: Using Smartphone Technologies to Investigate the Impact of Nature on Mental Wellbeing in Real Time." It was published in the January publication of BioScience magazine.
The researchers launched a new version of the Urban Mind app in March 2018. This new version will feature several languages and will be used for a large international study.
If you are interested in the project, you can visit the website at UrbanMind.info.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.Mental Health 心理健康
Poor housing and family stress can affect both physical and mental health.
2.aimed at 针对
The government rushed through legislation aimed at Mafia leaders.
3.social policy 社会政策
He was outspokenly critical of the government's new social policy.
4.a lot of 很多的
I think a lot of people still underestimate him.
5.Kings College researchers, along with city planners, land and building designers and others wanted to learn more about city living and mental illness.
along with 伴随
He came along with some friends.
The baby's mother escaped from the fire along with two other children.
6.But are they putting themselves at risk? Maybe.
at risk 处于...危险
The crisis could well place the relationship at risk.
If they have the virus they are putting patients at risk.
城市生活可能会影响很多人的心理健康。世界卫生组织估计，2014年，世界的城市人口达到54% 。世界卫生组织补充到，到2050年，这个数值会增加到66% 。
多项研究表明，大自然能平复我们的心境，让人产生愉悦感。专家还指出，自然有利于我们更好的学习 。置身大自然有利于人们将日常工作带来的精神疲劳一扫而光 。
国王学院的研究人员与城市规划师、土地规划建筑设计师以及其他人想了解更多关于城市生活与精神疾病（的信息）。因此，他们开发了一款名为“Urban Mind”的手机应用 。他们称，想了解不同的城市环境是如何影响心理健康的 。
这款“Urban Mind”的应用实时记录下你对城市生活的感受。研究人员收集了108人的实时信息 。这些人在一周内回答了3000多个问题 。
他们的报告题目为“Urban Mind：运用智能手机技术，实时调查自然对心理健康产生的影响”。这项报告发布在1月份的《生物科学》杂志上 。
2018年3月，研究人员推出了Urban Mind应用的新版本。这一新版本拥有多种语言，将用于大型国际研究 。