The green and the blue

Daily contact with nature improves the wellbeing of older people. Research conducted by the University of Minnesota found that ‘green and blue spaces are especially beneficial for healthy ageing in seniors’.

These outdoor spaces promoted feelings of ‘renewal, restoration and spiritual connectedness’. Jessica Finaly researched people between the ages of 65 and 86, and found that ‘a relatively mundane experience, such as hearing the sound of water or a bee buzzing among flowers, can have a tremendous impact on overall health’.

Daily contact with nature improves the wellbeing of older people

Finding calm & tranquility

As well as finding calm and tranquillity, nature can also provide great opportunities to interact with others.

Whether we are meeting with family, neighbours, old friends or new, choosing to meet within nature can motivate us to be active ‘physically, spiritually and socially’, which can help to offset feelings of isolation and loneliness.

‘Blue spaces’ are also great places to enjoy non-weight bearing exercise (wading or swimming). It’s really important to prioritise everyday contact with nature if we can – it helps us to maintain relationships, health and a daily routine throughout our lives.


Everyday access to nature improves quality of life in older adults, July 2015, University of Minnesota,

Jessica Finlay, Thea Franke, Heather McKay, Joanie Sims-Gould. Therapeutic landscapes and wellbeing in later life: Impacts of blue and green spaces for older adults. Health & Place, 2015; 34: 97 DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.05.001