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Green Spaces In Hallett Cove

Introduction

This paper will discuss the green spaces in Hallett Cove. The aim is to discuss how the green spaces improves the health of the community and how it reduces the risks of developing CVD and obesity. The paper also aims to discuss how the physical and mental well-being of a patient is affected by their physical environment since it is essential for nursing students to understand that the environment the patient is living in can affect their daily activities. The purpose is to demonstrate an understanding of how the community’s environment is affected by the needs of a patient, particularly those who are chronically ill, poor and have low mobility.

Green Spaces and how it affects the community

Throughout the years, the community has made a dramatic demographic shift towards urbanisation (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2009). This poses a problem as it limits the number of green spaces in the society, which not only affects the physical environment but also the health of the community (Chen et al. 2011).

There is strong evidence on positive links between green space accessibility and the improvement of one’s general health (Thompson et al. 2012). Studies have shown that those who live in neighbourhoods with greenspaces have reduced odds of developing coronary heart disease (CVD) and obesity (Mitchell & Popham 2008). Moreover, it has been discovered that interactions with nature reduces mental fatigue and increases social interactions in the community, thereby reducing the risks of residents developing depression and anxiety (Townsend & Weerasuriya 2010).

Green spaces play a huge role in influencing the physical health of residents by encouraging them to undertake physical activities such as; walking or cycling, or choose to do these as a mode of transportation, reducing risks of obesity and CVD (Faber & Kuo 2009). A number of studies have associated natural outdoor environments with reduced mortality. The risk of mortality from CVD and obesity was statistically reduced in five of eight studies that assesses the association between mortality rates and residential green spaces (Hu et al. 2008; Mitchell and Popham 2008; Richardson and Mitchell 2010, Villeneuev et al. 2012; Lachowycz and Jones 2014).

Some investigations between green spaces and human health uses a hypothesis to explain that humans have a genetic need for nature. Therefore, by instinct, visiting green spaces makes one calmer and less stressed (Joye & De Block 2011). Aside from providing stress-relief, the attractive aesthetic of green spaces also improves one’s well-being by enhancing feelings of satisfaction (Kent et al. 2011). Furthermore, research has found that exposure to the natural environment reduces feelings of anger and frustration, thus enhancing feelings of social safety (Groenewegen et al. 2006).

Lastly, greenspaces serve as a focal point for positive informal social interaction, which strengthens the social ties in the community, thereby influencing social cohesion (Sugiyama et al. 2008).

The physical environment in Hallett Cove and how it influences my health

Hallett Cove is a place that has a number of green spaces including conservation and recreation parks, a beach and walking trails (Marion.sa.gov.au, 2017). It is a community that is far from both my workplace and the university, making traveling time-consuming and stressful. However, it is only of walking distance from the shopping centre, church, parks, beach, gym, GPs and schools which makes daily living comfortable.

This influences my health by increasing my level of physical activity. I do this by means of choosing to walk as a mode of transportation since all the establishments are nearby. Also, both the urban and natural green spaces in this area are close to my home, thus encourages me to go for a walk outside or enjoy the sunshine and walk around the ocean. In these areas, people are always around. Most of whom like to have a quick chat, which strengthens the social ties in the community.

The physical environment of the patient

It is important to understand the physical environment of the patient as this affects their healing process and well-being (Huisman, et al. 2012). In a community, it is essential to understand that there will be some people that will have some restrictions that confine them from managing activities of their daily living and may require support from the healthcare system. For instance; the chronically ill, people with poor mobility and low income.

The chronically ill patients and patients with low mobility would need to have an easy access to primary health care services to go to for their weekly check-ups. In Hallett Cove, GP’s and allied health professionals are always available for these patients. Patients with low mobility may find it hard to drive or walk to establishments, therefore they would require community bus services to take them to shopping centres, parks, libraries and food courts. Hallett Cove also has Wheelie Friendly Tours, which is a handicapped transportation service if the patient does not want to catch the bus. Chronically ill and immobile patients may not be able to prepare their food, they are able to make use of the Meals on Wheels service to have nutritious food delivered to them. Additionally, those with low income and are struggling to buy nutritious food for their family can visit the church on Sundays as they organise a free brunch for everyone and often gives away fresh fruits, breads and canned goods. They are also able to buy cheap clothes or other necessities at Salvation’s army and Opshop. Lastly, as stated before, the area has a number of green spaces available for community residents. This can be accessed by the chronically ill and immobile patients to assist them in their recovery since according to the environmental theory, the natural environment influences the life and development of an organism and may be able to prevent and supress disease and death (da Silva & Ferreira2016) Conclusion

It has been found that accessibility to green spaces can improve one’s physical and mental well-being. It allows residents to feel some sort of ease due to its aesthetic, encourages them to undertake physical activities and can serve as a focal point for social interactions. Moreover, it has also been confirmed that the physical environment can influence the physical and mental well-being of a patient as the natural environment influences an organism’s development. In addition, patients suffering from chronic illnesses and those with poor mobility and low income may have some new challenges to encounter, therefore it is important to have a community that have support services provided to aid them in dealing with these problems.

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