Pack your bags ladies, we’re relocating into nature! Our prayers for finding the fountain of youth have been answered! Ok, well maybe not entirely the fountain of youth, BUT, hear me out. Recent studies have confirmed that women who surround themselves in or live within nature, live longer! Research has shown that stress reduction, as well as an increase in both physical and social activity, were affected by natural environments. The intention of the study conducted was to get a better understanding of the relationship between “residential greenness and mortality”. Its findings became quite eye-opening for the livelihood of women.
The study composed on women over a span of 8 years from 2000-2008 was conducted on 108,630 women. During this time, 8,604 of these women passed away during the study. Considerations of age, race, smoking, and socioeconomic status played a role within this study. However, it was found that in the greenest of surroundings to a women’s home there was an overall 12 percent lower mortality rate versus those living in areas with less vegetation. The strongest associations came to deaths related to cancerous and respiratory illnesses. The women who lived in higher vegetated areas incurred a 34 percent lower rate of deaths related to respiratory issues, and a 13 perfect lower rate of deaths due to cancer.
So why the relation between greenery and mortality? While this information is exceptionally powerful for today’s everyday living, why would less greenery result in less social activity? While some may argue that we spend more time in a car or behind a computer monitor, this reduction in physical and social activity can indefinitely lead to depression over a long exposure of time. So of course, it seems obvious that women who live in natural environments filled with greenery wouldn’t experience the negative effects in health caused by air pollution, noise, or even extreme heat.
Researchers also speculate that the areas with more greenery offer a higher rate and opportunity for physical activity and interaction. This may explain why you feel an increased sense of calm or peacefulness when spending time outdoors, as studies show lower stress levels when being “one with nature”. Mental health, such as lower levels of depression affected approximately 30 percent of those studied when they spent their lives living around more trees and greenery.
With these newfound revelations on your health and the relation to spending your time outdoors or surrounded by nature, there are some important questions you may want to consider. How much time do you spend outside every day? If living a healthy happy life is important to you, starting to carve out some true quality time to be within nature may be a great place to start! Now, how’s that for becoming a tree hugger?