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7 Years Younger by Adding Trees

August 7, 2015

 

The Journal "Nature" reports: ( DOI: 10.1038/srep11610 )

We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.

 

Studies have shown that natural environments can enhance health and here we build upon that work

by examining the associations between comprehensive greenspace metrics and health. We focused

on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining

high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based

self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses from

the Ontario Health Study. Results from multiple regressions and multivariate canonical correlation

analyses suggest that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their

streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions

(controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors). We find that having 10 more trees in a city

block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal

income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7

years younger. We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardiometabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and

moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.

 

 

 

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