Want to live longer? Get to a Park!

Americans are always looking for the next best health tip in hopes of living a longer and healthier life.  According to one study, the answer could be as simple as living close to your local park!

CNN recently published an article that focuses on the impact that greenery and parks have on life expectancy… park1

“The trees, shrubs and plants outside your home might offer something more than just pretty scenery. A new study found that living in, or near, green areas can help women live longer and improve their mental health.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined more than 108,000 women enrolled in the Nurse’s Health Study — a nationwide investigation into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women — from 2000 to 2008.

They compared risk of death with the amount of plant life and vegetation near the women’s homes and found that women living in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than women living in the least green areas. The levels of vegetation were determined using satellite imagery from different seasons and years.  The team believes the findings would be similar if men were included in the study.

When analyzing specific causes of death among the study participants, researchers found that women in greener areas had a 41% lower death rate for kidney disease, a 34% lower death rate for respiratory disease and a 13% lower death rate for cancer than those living in areas with less greenery.

The study suggests that several factors might play a role in reducing the death rate, including improved mental health, which was measured through levels of depression and estimated to explain 30% of the benefit from living in greener areas. Increased opportunities for social engagement, increased physical activity and lower exposure to air pollution may also play important roles, according to the study.”

Park Pictures 161So when you are out Christmas shopping this year, show the ones you love that you really care by passing on the perfume, and choosing a gift that will help encourage them to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer.

The above excerpt is from “Living near nature linked to longer lives, says study”, an article by Morgan Manella and CNN.  Click Here to read the full article.
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About Clarksville Parks

The Town of Clarksville is located in Southern Indiana, right across the Ohio River and Louisville, KY. The mission of the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is to enhance the quality of life in the town by providing the best possible recreational facilities, open natural spaces, and programs for its citizens.
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