Bright Side

Women Who Live Near Nature Live Longer, Harvard Study Says

Those of us who already live close to nature don’t need any scientific evidence to convince us that we’ve made the best choice. But for those who can’t choose between the busy city center or the starry sky, scientists have prepared a pretty convincing point. They say that shrubs, trees, and flowers don’t just make our life cozier, but they can make it longer as well.

We at Bright Side were glad to learn that mother nature protects us, and here’s how it works.

Improved sleep and lower blood pressure aren’t the only benefits.

Earlier studies have already shown many potential benefits you can get while living in a green neighborhood. They include improved sleep and lower blood pressure. It can even reduce the risk of certain types of diabetes and preterm birth. But scientists from Harvard questioned if there was any link between women’s death rates and the number of plants that surrounded their houses and got a remarkable answer.

In the course of this study, researchers looked at the data of more than 108,000 women. All of them were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study that examined the risk factors for major chronic diseases among women from 2000 to 2008. The scientists analyzed the participants’ death rates and causes and compared that information with satellite images from different seasons and time periods that showed greenery levels around their houses.

Women in greener areas have a 13% lower rate of cancer-related deaths.

It turned out that women whose houses were surrounded by more plants had a 12% lower death rate. When looking at specific causes, researchers discovered that deaths from kidney, respiratory, and cancer-related diseases were 41%, 34%, and 13% lower in women who lived in greener areas.

Scientists have several reasons for this. In their opinion, women who live in a more natural environment don’t experience the negative impact of urban noise, heat, and air pollution in full. They may have more opportunities for increased social engagement and physical activity. And they show lower stress levels and improved mental health.

Men have their benefits too.

These findings prove that plants have a protective effect on women’s health. Although this study looked at women only, there is evidence that men may benefit from them too. For example, men die less often from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases when they live in areas with more greenery. They also have a higher chance of surviving after a stroke.

Make your house greener if there aren’t that many plants outside.

But what do you do if you don’t have the option of packing up your stuff and moving to the countryside? You can try to make the place you already live in greener. You can plant new bushes or trees if you have a garden or buy more flowers to place inside of your home.

What area do you live in? Do you notice if it impacts your health in a positive or negative way?