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A trip to the park boosts people's happiness by a similar amount as Christmas Day, according to a new study.
The more trees and vegetation at the park, the bigger the mood-boosting effect, researchers said.
Flowers - Things - Joy - Visitors
Looking at flowers was one of the key things that brought joy to park visitors.
In the study visitors to parks and cities used happier words and expressed less negativity on Twitter than they did before their visit.
Researchers - Mood - Glow - Hours - Afterwards
Researchers also found that that their elevated mood lasted - 'like a glow' - for up to four hours afterwards.
The effect is so strong that the increase in happiness from a visit to an outpost of urban nature is equivalent to the mood spike on Christmas, found to be the happiest day each year on Twitter.
Researchers - Parks - Priority - Planners - Effects
The researchers argue parks should get a greater priority from urban planners because of their effects on mental health.
For three months, a team of scientists from the University of Vermont in the US studied hundreds of tweets per day that people posted from 160 parks in San Francisco.
Aaron - Schwartz - Research - 'We - Tweets
Aaron Schwartz, who led the research, said: 'We found that, yes, across all the tweets, people are happier in parks. But the effect was stronger in large regional parks with extensive tree cover and vegetation.'
People visiting smaller neighbourhood parks showed a smaller rise in positive mood, and paved civic squares led to the lowest mood elevation Mr Schwartz said one of the words that shows the biggest spike in use in tweets from parks is 'flowers.'
Co-author - Professor - Taylor - Ricketts - 'In
Co-author Professor Taylor Ricketts said: 'In cities, big green spaces...
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