The Health Benefits of Living Near Trees
Living near trees can improve both physical and mental health, according to numerous studies. Trees play a crucial role in reducing air pollution, leading to improved respiratory health, as well as impacting heart, anxiety, stress, and depression health.
1. Breathing Better with Trees
USDA Forest Services confirmed that trees in rural areas reduced air pollution and improved health nationwide, reducing deaths caused by poor air quality by 850, and respiratory illness cases by 670,000. India has also planned to plant 2 billion trees along their highways to improve air quality and provide employment opportunities.
2. Save Lives with Trees
Dr. Geoffrey Donovan and his Pacific Northwest Research Station team found out that areas that had lost the most number of ash trees had a higher death rate from heart and respiratory illnesses, showing trees’ effectiveness in improving public health.
3. Recover Faster with Trees
Patients recovering from gall bladder operations recovered faster when their rooms had a view of trees than those looking at a building found Dr. Roger Ulrich’s research from 1972-1981. Patients looking at the brick wall required more painkillers, encouragement, and an extra day of recovery.
4. Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Depression with Trees
People living near trees were observed to experience less anxiety, stress, and depression than those living in areas with a less than 10% tree canopy. The results were consistent across income levels, race, and education groups, according to the University of Wisconsin’s study.
5. Fighting Obesity and Diabetes with Trees
Research done in Toronto found that the more trees on the block, the less likely people were to be obese or have diabetes, as people went out and took more exercise in neighborhoods with trees.
6. Better Sleep with Trees
Research focused on trees and health results from data collected from 250,000 Americans and led by Prof. Diana Grigsby-Toussaint found that those living near green areas were sleeping better, specifically those over 65 years.
The benefits of having trees nearby, apart from improving health, include increasing the value of properties by 15%, reducing air pollution, cutting energy bills, and providing a habitat for songbirds.