Trees and Happiness: Psychological and Physiological Effects of Green Spaces
People have long been encouraged to participate in outdoor activities and spend time in green spaces as it is good for health. Researchers at the University of Chicago went even further and tried to measure how beneficial it is to spend time in green spaces. By studying trees and medical records in Toronto, experts found that having 11 extra trees outside reduces the risk of heart attack, diabetes and obesity. So what are the psychological and physical effects of green space?
Why is living near trees good for health?
Living in green spaces has many psychological and physical benefits. Walking in nature reduces the number of depressive situations, such as constantly thinking about the same subject. In addition, the researchers state: “Research shows that there is a direct link between outdoor experience and mental health, and as urbanization increases, there is a need to access more natural areas.”
The level of urbanization in the world is 50%. In other words, half the world lives in cities. In our country, this figure exceeds 70%. These high rates not only make it difficult for people to access green spaces, but also pose a threat to public health. In addition, it has been observed that people living near green areas complain less about health problems.
Green spaces include city parks, agricultural land, forests, in a word, everything that belongs to nature. Green spaces also improve your cognitive function. In a study of 2,600 children aged 7 to 10, it was observed that the attention skills of children who had green spaces in schools improved. In another 2014 study, it was observed that children with dense vegetation in schools were more successful in class.
Trees: the solution to air pollution
From a practical point of view, trees are good for human health because they purify the air. According to the World Health Organization, in 2012 alone, the number of premature deaths due to air pollution in cities and rural areas reached 3.7 million. Most deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes. Trees have great potential to change this situation. Trees remove pollutants through pores in their leaves. Thanks to the surface of the plant, some gaseous pollutants also disappear.
According to our data, the rate of destruction of air pollution by trees and forests in America in 2010 was 17.4 million tons. The balance of the impact of this amount of polluted air on human health is 6.8 billion.
Trees may encourage you to go outside
Trees are a great source of motivation to get out and take a walk. According to research, even 5 minutes of exercise in the fresh air causes a positive development of mood and self-esteem. In the same study, it was observed that people who exercise outside have less secretion of the stress hormone cortisol than those who exercise indoors. Richard Louv, The last child in the forest In his book, he claims that attention deficit disorder in children is caused by their spending less time outdoors. Moreover, he emphasizes that children who spend 5 to 10 hours a week outside the home have a stronger connection with nature, and this connection is extremely beneficial for human development and well-being.
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