TEHRAN (Iran News) – Living near parks may slash your risk of an early death, according to the biggest ever review of the evidence. An international team of researchers analyzed nine existing studies involving eight million city-dwellers around the world, involving people living near parks. Results showed adults who lived near green spaces were significantly […]
TEHRAN (Iran News) – Living near parks may slash your risk of an early death, according to the biggest ever review of the evidence.
An international team of researchers analyzed nine existing studies involving eight million city-dwellers around the world, involving people living near parks.
Results showed adults who lived near green spaces were significantly less likely to die young from any cause, including heart disease, cancer and dementia, the Daily Mail reported.
Urban parks help improve the air quality, filtering out toxic pollutants that kill scores of people every year.
Researchers say they also offer no-cost spaces for people to exercise, which helps drive down obesity rates.
These benefits are also good for mental health and stress levels, said the Barcelona Institute for Global Health-led academic team.
They have now called for more shrubs, plants and trees to be planted in urban areas on the back of the findings.
The studies that were reviewed included people from seven different countries – the US, Canada, Spain, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and China.
The researchers used satellite images to measure the distance between participants’ homes and green spaces and cross-referenced it with their health records.
The studies tracked the participants for several years. Results were published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health.
They found that for every two per cent increase in greenness within 500 meters of their home, there was four per cent lower chance of an early death.
Lead author David Rojas, researcher at the Barcelona Institute and Colorado State University, said: ‘This is the largest and most comprehensive synthesis to date on green space and premature mortality.
‘The results support interventions and policies to increase green spaces as a strategy to improve public health.’
The research team – which involved experts from the World Health Organization – are currently applying the results to estimate the number of premature deaths that could be prevented in cities around the world.
Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at the Barcelona institute said: ‘Urban greening programs are not only key to promoting public health, but they also increase biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change, making our cities more sustainable and livable.’
Last year a study of 408 people in the US found trees, bushes and plants reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Blood and urine samples showed vegetation boosted their blood vessels and heart health by reducing stress and improving air quality.
Over five years those whose homes were surrounded by more greenery were less likely to suffer a stroke, heart attack or high blood pressure.
Trees are particularly good at filtering air pollutants such as ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which come from cars and roadworks.
The UK government has said natural environments could act as a vital resource for improving health and well-being.
- source : Tasnim, Irannews