Green Spaces Make You Healthier

People who live near vegetation suffer fewer diseases
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 6:25 PM CDT
Green Spaces Make You Healthier
The sun hits peak fall foliage colors in the White Mountain National Forest in Twin Mountain, N.H., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – People who live close to parks or other “green spaces” are likely to be healthier, a new study suggests. Dutch researchers scoured the health records of 345,000 people, comparing their health status to the amount of green space in the surrounding area, from a half-mile to 2-mile radius. Of 24 health conditions—including cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological diseases—people living in purely urban areas suffered higher instances of 15 of them, notes HealthDay.

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The connection is strongest with anxiety disorders and depression—instances of these diseases were nearly twice as high in people who lived in areas with 10% green space compared to people in areas with 90% green space. "As health-care costs spiral out of control, it behooves us to think about our green space in terms of preventive health care,” says a dean at Texas A&M. (Read more nature stories.)

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