It’s official: living closer to nature is better for your health and may even extend your life!
Numerous independent studies from all over the world have proved that people who live close to natural green spaces, surrounded by vegetation, appear to live longer and experience improved mental health, social engagement and physical activity.
8 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER LIVING CLOSER TO NATURE
1. BOLSTER YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Countless studies support the belief that proximity to nature makes us more resilient to disease.
Results from a study conducted in 2012 provided direct evidence that forest bathing has therapeutic effects on human hypertension and induces inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system and inflammation, and thus inspiring its preventive efficacy against cardiovascular disorders.
2. HEAL FASTER
Living close to nature, or being surrounded by natural environments may speed up the body’s ability to heal after surgery or other procedures.
This is supported by a study by Robert Ulrich in 1984 of patients recovering from surgery in a Pennsylvania hospital. The findings proved irrefutably that the recovery time of patients who’s hospital room allowed them daily views of trees and gardens was significantly less than those with closed rooms.
4. RESTORE YOUR FOCUS
The ability to exert willpower and focus relies on a constant source of energy; proximity to nature gives the brain crucial time to recover.
According to an NIS journal published in 2013, a concept called Attention Restoration Theory (ART) explains that the restorative potential of natural environments is situated in the fact that nature can replenish depleted attentional resources.
5. STAVE OFF THE EFFECTS OF DEMENTIA
Many organizations world wide have recognized the importance of nature in assisting older adults in both the prevention and reduction in the effects of dementia.
A 10 year study of 6500 people aged between 45 and 68, published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, reported a slower decline in cognitive function among those living in closer proximity to nature than those living in an urban environment.
6. IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Active workouts in a gym cannot match the elevated feeling of well-being and endorphin release generated by physical activities performed in natural environments.
A study published in 2011 found that being around nature was associated with increased energy, positive engagement and greater feelings of revitalization and decreases in anger, tension and depression, all of which contribute to an improved mindset and happiness.
7. LOWER YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Living close to and actively participating in nature results in the reduced production of cortisol and healthier amygdlas (the part of the brain which regulates stress levels).
A long-term study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and published in Nature Scientific Reports found that forests, in particular, are one of the best remedies for helping people to deal with chronic stress and that urban green spaces are not as effective.
8. INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN
Numerous studies all over the world have proved conclusively that living close to nature will make you live longer due to a reduction in stress, obesity, heart conditions, and type II diabetes.
An indepth study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that a combination of physical, psychological, cognitive, physiological, social, spiritual and tangible benefits of being close to nature, all contributed to increased longevity in humans.