Sunday, December 13, 2009

Benefits of Green Space

From Parade Magazine:

Publishing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the authors studied the medical charts of more than 345,000 people in Holland, noting each person’s address and how close it was to a park, garden, or other green space.

People living near a green space had lower rates of 15 out of 24 diseases, including asthma, diabetes, intestinal complaints, and back and neck problems. The links were strongest for depression and anxiety. For example, people whose environment was 90% green were significantly less likely to have an anxiety disorder than those living where it was only 10% green (18 out of 1000 vs. 26 out of 1000).

The Dutch study is the first large-scale look at the relationship between green space and health conditions to rely on medical data rather than individuals’ perceptions of their health. The researchers urge urban planners to “take the amount of green space in the living environment into account.”

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