If you love going to parks for recreation or even live near one, you're gonna live a long, healthy life… At least that's what research claims! A new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital has found that living in or near green areas can help women live longer lives and improve their mental health.
The study examined more than 108,000 women from 2000 to 2008 and found that women living in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than those who lived in the least green areas. Peter James, the author of the study, was surprised with the information he found, "We know that vegetation can help mitigate the effect of climate change. Our study suggests the potential co-benefit for health." However, Peter believes that the same information wouldn't hold true for men.
More findings in the study concluded that not only did the women live longer, but they also had lesser diseases. Women in greener areas had a 41% lower death rate for kidney disease, a 34% lower death rate for respiratory disease, and a 13% lower death rate for cancer than those living in areas with less greenery. However, there are several other factors at play—the most powerful being improved mental health. The research measured an improved state of the participants through levels of depression, and it estimated that it explains 30% of the benefit to living near green spaces.
If you're living in a concrete jungle, you don't need to sell everything and run to the nearest forest…just start small like going to parks for a walk or creating the cutesy garden you saw on Pinterest in your house or simply get some plants for your home or office.