Women, in particular, gain a few more years to their lives when they live in nature.
Women who live in the greenest surroundings had a 12 percent lower overall mortality rate versus those living in the least green areas.
The associations were even stronger when it came to deaths related to cancer and respiratory diseases,
Women living in areas with the most vegetation had a 34 percent lower rate of respiratory-related deaths and a 13 percent lower rate of cancer deaths compared with those who had the least vegetation around their homes.
A recent study found that women live longer when they live surrounded by nature. They started with a theory that natural environments help to lower stress and increase physical / social activity, which leads to greater health.
They specifically set out to study the relationship between “residential greenness and mortality”.
The researchers followed 108,630 women between 2000 and 2008. Of those women, 8,604 died during the study.
Factors such as age, race, smoking, and socioeconomic status were taking into consideration during this study, and they found that women living with the most greenery in the 250m area near their homes “had a 12% lower rate of all-cause-non-accidental mortality”.
“These associations were strongest for respiratory and cancer mortality”.
The researchers concluded that higher levels of green vegetation actually decreased mortality in these women.
This information is extremely powerful for the modern American living and driving in our urban areas.
Why would less greenery result in less social activity? I would argue that it results in more time spent in the car or behind a computer monitor.
The reduction in physical and social activity can absolutely lead to depression, and depression is not good for any part of your health.
If you want to live a long, healthy, and HAPPY life, consider surrounding yourself with nature. How much time do you spend outside every day?
“We were surprised to observe such strong associations between increased exposure to greenness and lower mortality rates,” said Peter James, research associate in the Harvard Chan School Department of Epidemiology. “We were even more surprised to find evidence that a large proportion of the benefit from high levels of vegetation seems to be connected with improved mental health.
“Our mediation analyses suggest that greenness affects all-cause mortality, as well as cancer, respiratory, and kidney disease mortality, through mental health, social engagement, physical activity, and air pollution. There is a foundation for each of these mechanisms in the literature.”