Living Around Nature Could Make You Live Longer
Did you get your daily dose of Vitamin-N today?
What if we had a medication that did this? A medication that prolonged life. A medication that addressed very different unconnected causes of disease. A medication that came at no cost with no negative side effects. That would be the medication of the decade. This might be wishful thinking. But a guess what? There is a medication that does all that. It’s called vitamin N – N is for nature.
A study was just published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives found that people who live in “greener” areas, with more vegetation around them, have a lower risk of mortality. The health benefits are likely thanks to factors such as improved mental health, social engagement, and physical activity that comes with living near green spaces.
The researchers used data from a long-term Harvard study which collected health information on more than 100,000 females for over 40 years. However, they only used participant data from between 2000 and 2008 while at the same time used satellites to assess the amount of green vegetation surrounding each participant’s home during the study period.
With the data they collected, the researches found that people living in the greenest places, that had vegetation within 800 feet of their homes, had a 12 percent lower rate of mortality from any non-accidental causes. That means that 12 percent fewer people died of a sickness because they lived close to nature. Specifically, they found that the relationship was strongest for deaths related to respiratory disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
But how does this work? Why does living around nature make you live longer and feel better?
Places with more vegetation are generally thought to be less polluted, and the presence of green vegetation itself can help keep the air cleaner. So, you breathing in more fresh air just being around green spaces. And green spaces like parks can help encourage people to get outside, exercise, and engage with other people. All factors that can improve overall health.
The effects of mental health may be somewhat less straightforward, but nonetheless important, as connecting with others helps us feel loved and wanted. Which is just as important as being physically fit.
One theory behind all this is known as the “biophilia” hypothesis. Which was proposed by renowned biologist and naturalist E.O. Wilson. This theory embodies the idea “that we evolved as a species embedded in nature over most of our existence as a species, and something about the nature contact still resonates with us. Something about contact with nature is soothing and restorative and thereby good for mental health.” And physical health is just another added benefit of getting outside.
Basically, biophilia means that humans are apart of nature. And when we put ourselves out into, nature can heal our minds, our bodies, and our souls. There are lots of reasons and ways to get outside and enjoy a generous dose of vitamin N. I’ve even heard that surrounding yourself with just pictures of nature can also help with your health. It tricks your brain into thinking that you are outside. But the real thing will always be better. social
So, do what you need to do to get out there and enjoy it! I hope you have enjoyed this video and see you next week. Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day.
Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day.
Take care of yourself <3
The Washington Post
- Energy and EnvironmentWhy living around nature could make you live longer: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/19/why-living-around-nature-could-make-you-live-longer/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7e4dbcd6953d
Environmental Health Perspectives
- Exposure to Greenness and Mortality in a Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study of Women: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10363/