“Scientists have discovered that living near trees is good for your health”

The preceding headline in quotes recently appeared in the mainstream media. The article went on to list the various health benefits from living in the midst of trees and other greenery. Indeed, there are good reasons why spending time in nature settings is so rejuvenating and health-affirming. The results of one study concluded that air quality can be significantly improved, especially by trees.

“This is that trees are known to improve urban air quality by pulling ozone, particulates, and other pollutants into their leaves and out of the air, and thus, partly protecting people from them.” [1]

There’s nothing like a natural air purifier in your backyard forever keeping the air clean and fresh. Trees don’t require an energy source or frequently changed filters to stay effective, either.

Another advantage from having trees in the back yardincludes the stress reduction that comes from being around greenery — a mental effect that translates into physical benefits.” [1] Some even say that the color green has discernible relaxation effects on the mind and emotions. It is also quite soothing to the eyes.

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Because all leafy vegetation produces oxygen as a result of photosynthesis, a nice green back yard is permeated with O2. Doing some deep breathing or power-walking in such an oxygen-rich environment will allow the body to become saturated with fresh O2.

Where it specifically concerns trees, one study zeroed in on the location of the trees which regularly generated the most benefit.

One interesting finding — that street trees seemed to have a more beneficial effect than private or backyard trees — may be explained by the fact that they are “more accessible to all residents in a given neighborhood,” the paper notes. [1]

“Looking at Nature, Scenic Views Can Help Your Brain Function Better at Work, Study Says”

This second headline goes on to describe a growing urban phenomenon known as green roofs. They have been appearing more frequently in large cities throughout the United States as well as abroad. Wherever it has become more difficult to drive to the local park or mountain forest, folks are now creating their own small ‘parks’ on their rooftops and high rise porches.

Green roofs can reduce the retention of heat in urban areas, help to cool down buildings and thereby lower their energy use, and even pull some carbon dioxide from the air and feed it back into plant growth. [2]

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There are various reasons why brain function substantially improves when one spends time looking at scenic views or walking in nature. “According to a study from the University of Melbourne, images of greenery work better to boost our attention.” Exactly why this happens has not been determined with conclusive scientific research, but many theories are now being advanced to explain such a compelling and positive correlation.

Conclusion

A number of similar studies and research papers have been published since the advent of the Internet Age. Because of the rapid proliferation of smartphones and cellphones, laptops and desktops, iPads and tablets, many people are becoming addicted to information technology. This single fact of life of this 3rd millennium has reduced considerably the amount of time that is spent in nature.

Young children are now given a whole host of IT gadgets to play with before they receive their outdoor toys and athletic gear. This predicament has given rise to a literal epidemic of childhood obesity and Type II diabetes. Kids used to be out playing in the fields, fishing in streams and climbing trees. Nowadays you can hardly find a real treehouse that was built within the past 20 years.

Truly, beautiful nature settings can provide an opportunity to heal body and mind, heart and soul like few other things in life. The children, especially, should be encouraged to not miss their quality time in Mother Nature.

This article originally appeared at Natural Society.


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