UVM researchers measure happiness effects of city parks

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 2:55 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - City parks could be the key to happiness in urban areas.

That’s a finding from new research out of the University of Vermont. For three years, researchers have been tracking public social media posts from visitors to parks in 25 of the largest cities in the U.S. They found that people who were posting updates from parks consistently seemed to be happier with a mood boost equivalent to that of a holiday.

“I think one of the things that is exciting here is that we are demonstrating there is an actual benefit to this that is beyond just being away from your screen. People are using happier words more often, they’re using negative language less often,” said Chris Danforth, a UVM professor involved in the study.

Researchers hope their work will help quantify the value of urban parks and encourage investment in them.

The study was published this week in the online science journal PLOS One.

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