It’s no secret that going into nature can make you feel good.
But, surrounding yourself with greenness may have more benefits than you may think.
The results of a recently published study suggest that living near green spaces (areas full of trees, grass and other vegetation) is linked to living longer.
In this extensive study, researchers from Harvard University analysed the data from about 108,600 women that were collected over eight years.
Every two years, they asked these women to fill in a questionnaire to measure their health, diet and lifestyle. They also estimated the amount of green space these women lived in using images of the NASA Terra satellite.
When analysing all these data, the researchers took into account their ethnicity, age and whether they smoked.
They found that women who lived in the greenest areas had a significantly lower risk of dying from all causes, compared to women who lived in areas with less green space. Specifically, their risk of dying from respiratory diseases or cancer was much lower.
This could mean that spending time in nature could help you live longer.
If other researchers find the same results in future studies, then this could be another great reason to enjoy the great outdoors.
HOW COULD GREEN SPACES HELP YOU LIVE LONGER?
The research team also investigated how living in green spaces may have helped these women to live longer.
They reported this might be because green spaces help people to socialise, do more physical activity, and may improve their mental health.
Other studies also described that spending time in nature may improve your mental health.
For instance, researchers from the University of Queensland reported that people who spent half an hour a week in green spaces – such as a park were less likely to struggle with depression.
They published these results after analysing questionnaires from nearly 1540 people living in Brisbane, Australia.
This is all good news. Especially, if you live in a neighbourhood with plenty of greenness.
But, if you don’t, then you can always seek out green areas as often as you can. Visit a park for a leisurely walk, run, bike ride or another great workout. Enjoy the great green outdoors.
How much time do you spend in nature? I’d love to hear about in the comments below.