Science has proven with a recent study conducted by Environmental Health Perspectives, that women who live surrounded by nature live longer than those who do not.
EHP used data from the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study to observe 108,630 women between 2000 and 2008. Of those women enrolled in the study, 8,604 passed away during that time and their causes of death were recorded. The second thing EHP looked at, was the amount of greenery and vegetation surrounding the women’s homes, which they used satellite imagery to access.
Their findings were astounding and unexpected. According to their results, women who had the most vegetation within 820-feet of their homes had a 12% lower mortality rate than people living in the least vegetated areas. The 12% includes all non-accidental causes and was also not affected by factors like income, weight or smoking status.
Most shockingly, women who lived in the most vegetated areas were 34% less likely to die of respiratory-related illnesses and 13% less likely to die from cancer. The reduction of harmful exposure due to air pollutants likely plays a large part in the lower respiratory-related mortalities.
The study also shows that living amongst nature benefits health because of the increased drive and opportunity for physical activity. Researchers also found that the women’s mental health and social engagement also plays a part in why living surrounded by nature affects mortality rates to strongly.
“We were really surprised to find that the mental health pathway explained about 30 percent of the relationship between greenness and mortality,” explains Peter James (research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health).
So, there you have it, folks! If you’ve been thinking about moving out into the country or woods, maybe this will help you take the leap.