Anyone who gets outdoors a lot and walks through forests can attest to the power of nature. It just makes us feel good. But how good? A new study attempts to quantify just how much healthier and happier people become if they live near trees.
According to a team of researchers at Chicago University if you live on a block with 10 or more trees, your health perception would be equivalent to earning $10,000 in additional income or being seven years younger. Add another 11 trees and your equivalent income would increase by $20,000.
The findings, recently published in the journal Scientific Reports builds on prior research asserting the health benefits of nature. But this is the first study that attempts to quantify the benefit in an urban environment. The study examined an urban population in Toronto, Canada using satellite imagery, tree data from the city and a self-reported questionnaire.
The study concludes, “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.”
So get outdoors. It’s good for your health.