Women Live Longer If They Spend More Time in Nature, Study Says
When was the last time you went on a picnic? Can you even remember? Living our life too fast made us forget the simple pleasures in life like enjoying the sun or walking barefoot on grass.
Just imagine you are in this green meadow with colorful flowers that smell like heaven, and you are walking barefoot on the grass while listening to the pleasant and gentle sound of the stream burbling through the woods. Isn’t it calming?
Your heartbeat slows down, your muscles relax, and your thoughts calm.
Along with the beautiful scenery, nature offers a lot of others benefits. And, it’s our fault that we take it for granted. We know it’s here, yet we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy it.
The busy schedule doesn’t even allow us to take a short walk through the park, or at least that’s what we think. It’s everywhere around us, yet we ignore it although it can make us feel happier and healthier.
There’s even a study that shows spending time in green places increases the longevity in women.
The analysis was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2016, and it involved over 100,000 women. Those living in places with most greenness in the surrounding 820 feet (or 250 meters) had lower mortality risk than those living in areas with the lowest level of greenness by 12 percent.
Researchers found out that the women who lived in “green” places had 13 percent lower rate for cancer death, 41 percent lower rate for kidney disease mortality, and 35 percent lower rate for mortality related to respiratory disease. You must agree that these statistics are pretty amazing.
But, how does spending longer time in green areas increase longevity?
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that living in green areas is linked to increased social engagement, lower level of depression, lower levels of pollution, and higher levels of physical activity.
The combination of these factors helps reduce depression. Those living in green spaces are more likely to spend more time outside than those who live in areas with little to no greenness. Sunlight, in turn, help stimulate the production of vitamin D – lack of this vitamin is linked to depression.
Greener areas were also related to participating in social activities and spending time with friends – all of which reduce feelings of depression and loneliness. Enjoying nature improves the sense of well-being and mood.
People are more likely to go outside and be physically active in green spaces and enjoy activities like jogging, cycling, walking, or running. This happened with the women in the study who lived in the green areas.
What’s more, the more trees, grass, flowers, and plants, the less pollution. That’s why the women in the study who lived in the green places had a lower rate of respiratory disease mortality than those living in homes with the lowest amount of vegetation.
Plants and trees help to clean the air, and breathing clean air is crucial for our respiratory tract and overall health.
Although the participants in the study were women, we are sure that everyone will benefit from spending more time in nature. So, go outside, walk around the neighborhood alone or with friends, breathe clean air, and enjoy the green outdoors.