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02.11.2022


City dweller lives longer in a green neighborhood

If you live in a big city and want to live as long as possible, try living in a neighborhood where you have access to green spaces like parks and tree-lined avenues. According to a Japanese study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, your chances of survival are greater in such a neighborhood.


City dweller lives longer in a green neighborhood


Study
Japanese researchers at the Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University followed 3,114 city dwellers from 1992 to 1997. The study participants were born in 1903-1918. So they were a bit older. Moreover, they all lived in a megapolis.

During the studies, 897 study participants died.

The researchers examined whether there was a relationship between the chance of survival and the living environment of the study participants. They also looked at the presence of walkable green spaces in the residential environment. These can be parks, squares surrounded by greenery, avenues and boulevards with trees or parks.


City dweller lives longer in a green neighborhood


Results
The presence of walking trails, parks, or tree-lined avenues near the study participants' homes increased their odds of being alive after 5 years by about 15 percent.


City dweller lives longer in a green neighborhood


Another factor was sunlight. A living environment in which sunlight penetrates also increased the chance of survival.

Causal association
The researchers adjusted their data for factors such as income and physical health. "It has been pointed out that the ability to live in a better residential environment is associated with higher socioeconomic status", write they.

"It is also known that there is an association between higher income and a lower risk of mortality."

"This study showed a significant association between socioeconomic status and longevity. However, it is noteworthy that we found a clear and significant association between walkable green spaces and longevity, even after excluding the influence of socioeconomic conditions on longevity."

"Furthermore, after excluding the influence of a person's baseline functional status, there still was a significant association between walkable green spaces and longevity."

Source:
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2002 Dec;56(12):913-8.

More:
Natural environment lowers cortisol levels 09.04.2019
Green neighborhood lowers breast cancer risk 25.08.2018
Walking in green areas healthier than walking in the city 20.06.2012

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