ICYMI (in case you missed it)
From the NC Nursery and Landscape Association e newsletter
According to a new study by the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health and Brigham Women’s Hospital (BWH) women in the USA who live in homes surrounded by more vegetation appear to have significantly lower mortality rates than those who live in areas with less vegetation.
The study was published online April14, 2016 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
“We were surprised to observe such strong associations between increased exposure to greenness and lower mortality rates,” said Peter James, research associate in the Harvard Chan school department of Epidemiology.” We were even more surprised to find evidence that a large proportion of apparent benefit from high levels of vegetation seems to b e connected with improved mental health.”
Women living in areas with the most vegetation had a 34% lower rate of respiratory disease-related mortality and a 13% lower rate of cancer mortality compared with those with the least vegetation around their homes. These more specific findings are consistent with some of the proposed benefits of greener areas, including that they may buffer air pollution and noise exposures and provide opportunities for physical activity.
“We know that planting vegetation can help the environment by reducing wastewater loads, sequestering carbon, and mitigating the effects of climate change. Our new findings suggest a possible co- benefit- improving health-that presents planners, landscape architects, and policy makers with a potential tool to grow healthier places,” said James.
“Richard Burton, in his scholarly seventeenth century study “The Anatomy of Melancholy”, claimed that one of the finest cures for despondency was to take a gentle walk around a garden.”
from “The Therapeutic Garden” by Donald Norfolk