According to new research, getting outside can help reduce loneliness up to 28% in urban dwellers.

The public health concern of loneliness is high, with research showing that it has a greater impact on mortality than obesity and air pollution.

A new study was conducted by experts that collected data on people who live in cities all over the globe using the Urban Mind App. The app prompts them to answer questions regarding loneliness, crowding, natural environments, social inclusion, and other topics. 

The researchers found that loneliness is more common when people feel overcrowded. However, if someone can see the trees and the sky their lonely feelings drop by 28%

This study was led by the Kings College London team. They found that natural spaces in cities could reduce loneliness and increase feelings of attachment. 

Getting outside and enjoying nature can reduce feelings of loneliness by up to 28 per cent in city dwellers, according to a new study. Stock image

According to new research, getting outside can help reduce loneliness up to 28% in urban dwellers. Photo by Stock


Urban Mind, an app which measures the quality of your urban and rural lives in the current moment.

The Kings College London team hopes to collect real-time data to help understand the impact of different urban environments on mental well-being. 

‘We hope that the results will inform future urban planning and social policy aimed at improving design & health,’ they said in an explanation.

It is a research project by King’s College London, landscape architects J&L Gibbons and arts foundation Nomad Projects. 

This study is the first to use’real-time data’ rather than asking after events. 

Feeling included in your community can reduce feelings of loneliness and increase happiness by 21 percent. If you are also active in nature this will boost your self-esteem by an additional 18 percent.

The Guardian spoke with Andrea Mechelli as a study author: ‘There may be aspects such natural features or social inclusion that can decrease loneliness. 

Researchers wrote that people experience different levels and types of loneliness depending on the environment they live in.

There were 756 participants who completed more than 16,000 mental health assessments between April 2018 – March 2020.

After adjusting for factors such as age, gender and education, it was still possible to see a stronger link between the lower levels of loneliness in nature and those who are more educated.

The study’s team wrote that loneliness can be affected by both environmental and social factors. 

“Our findings could have implications for public health strategies, interventions and programs aimed at decreasing the social burden of loneliness.”

Particularly in densely populated urban areas, it is important to implement specific measures which increase social inclusion, contact with nature, and reduce overcrowding.

Christopher Gidlow of Staffordshire University was an expert in applied healthcare and did not participate in the Guardian’s study. However, he told the Guardian that the connection between improved social interactions and natural environments has long been known.

He said, “This study further supports the existing evidence about our affinity for nature and potential benefits to social well-being.”

Loneliness is considered a major public health problem, and research has revealed it can increase the risk of death by more than air pollution and obesity. Stock image

The public health concern of loneliness is the obesity and air pollution. Photo from Stock

Although the degree of familiarity people have with their environment is not known, it’s likely that this relationship exists as they tend to frequent similar natural settings. This familiarity can lead to feelings of connection with a place and possibly mental health benefits.

In their paper, the researchers wrote: “In light of the established link between loneliness and health and mortality, our findings may have potential implications on public health strategies.” 

“Specifically, improving and conserving green spaces could reduce loneliness in high-density areas.”

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. 

READING Suggests That It Is Possible to Die of Loneliness

According to recent research, it’s possible to die of loneliness.

According to a large study, social isolation may increase your risk of strokes by 39% and preterm death by 51% respectively.

Research has shown that being lonely can increase your risk of heart attacks by up to 40%.

The analysis was based on the health records of 480,000 Britons — making it the largest study of its kind.

Individuals with cardiovascular disease were much more likely than those who were not treated.

Researchers from Britain included British academics who found that lonely people were more likely to smoke and have higher levels of chronic illnesses. They also had higher symptoms of depression.