It's Easy Being Green
If research proves something, then it must be true. We can get behind this research that shows green space and landscaping contribute to health, happiness, and intellect. Even better? There is a direct correlation between human health, particularly related to stress, and the importance of people’s access to nature and managed landscapes.
Kris Kiser, president and CEO of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute said, “Numerous studies have found that people who spend more time outside or are exposed to living landscapes are happier, healthier, and smarter.”
Here are five health benefits of green:
Getting dirty is actually good for you. Soil is the new Prozac, according to Dr. Christopher Lowry, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England. Mycobacterium vaccae in soil mirrors the effect on neurons that Prozac provides. The bacterium stimulates serotonin production, which explains why people who spend time gardening and have direct contact with soil feel more relaxed and happier.
Children who are raised on farms in a “dirtier” environment than an urban setting not only have a stronger immune system but are also better able to manage social stress, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
Living near living landscapes can improve your mental health. Researchers in England found that people moving to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health that was sustained for at least three years after they moved.
Greening of vacant urban areas in Philadelphia reduced feelings of depression by 41.5% and reduced poor mental health by 62.8% for those living near the vacant lots, according to a study by a research team.
Green spaces can make you healthier too. People who live within a half mile of green space (such parks, public gardens, and greenways) were found to have a lower incidence of fifteen diseases by Dutch researchers — including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines.
Living landscapes make you smarter. Children gain attention and working memory benefits when they are exposed to greenery, says a study led by Payam Dadvand of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, In addition, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children.
Living landscapes help you heal faster. Multiple studies have discovered that plants in hospital recovery rooms or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients heal up to one day faster than those who are in more sterile or austere environments.
Physicians are now prescribing time outdoors for some patients, according to recent reports.
This is a prescription we want!
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