Scientists are now realizing facts that the likes of John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Henry David Thoreau have known for years: Living in and near nature can have a significant impact on peoples’ health and longevity.
New research released by the National Institute of Health has found that people who live in greener and more natural areas are showing less stress and more social interaction than those who live in more urban environments.
The study of more than 108,000 women between the years 2000 and 2008 indicated that the women who live in the area with the highest areas of green space, as categorized based on satellite imagery, had a 12% lower mortality rate than the women who live in the areas with the lowest areas of green space.
The NIH study asserts that the the association between greenness and mortality may be at least partly mediated by physical activity, air particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers, social engagement, and depression.
This research has far-reaching potential in the areas of human-centered environment design, and the direct impact of our living areas upon health and wellness.