NIH Study – Trees Help You Live Longer From Mere Proximity!

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Want to live longer? Think Green! A massive study shows that people living near trees and plants are much less likely to die of cancer and other diseases.

The National Institute of Health has shown us yet another reason for being concerned with keeping the earth green – it turns out that there is a 12 percent lower mortality rate for women living in an area with the highest level of vegetation near their homes.

Far from being the usual tree-hugging silliness dismissed by so many out-of-hand these days of over-industrialization, it has been proven that the social and anti-pollution benefits from living close to the natural earth reduces your chance of dying from cancer, kidney disease, and respiratory complications.

While the report specifically references women’s health, that is simply because they are the subject of the largest ongoing study by self-reporting health professionals.

trees-help people live longer
Trees near a farm in Pennsylvania. Photo:John A. McCormick

Scope Of The Study

The study was the result of statistical data collected on nearly 109 thousand nurses in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School) Long-Term Nurses’ Health Study.

Living in green surroundings, probably even in urban environments with loads of green space, is definitely good for your health.

While many of the results of the study depend on self-reporting, in this instance the researchers actually looked at satellite images of the areas surrounding the homes of the participants.

The homes were placed in different categories depending on the “level of vegetation within 250 meters and 1,250 meters of homes. They then followed the women from 2000 to 2008, tracking changes in vegetation and participant deaths. During the study, 8,604 deaths occurred.”

Specifically comparing the women in areas with highest level of greenness to women in the lowest, there was a “41 percent lower death rate for kidney disease, 34 percent lower death rate for respiratory disease, and 13 percent lower death rate for cancer in the greenest areas.”

Do Good, Live Longer

The Church of Green is an online ministry based on the moral concept that doing good for other people, our families, and ourselves means also doing good for the planet, the only place we have to live.

This study is yet the latest scientific evidence that living green is good for you and can help you live longer.

Thechurchofgreen.com publishes regular news and hints for living more in tune with nature and our fellow beings.