Monday, May 27, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, May 27, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Living close to nature can reduce biological age

Published 31 August 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Djurgården in Stockholm.

Living near greenery can reduce biological age, according to new research. People who lived next to 20% greenery were on average 2.5 years older than those surrounded by 30% nature.

In a new study, researchers examined the impact of nature and parks on biological age. They analyzed the home addresses of 924 people in various U.S. cities between 1986 and 2006 to see how close they lived to parks or other vegetation.

They then paired this data with blood samples taken during the same period, controlling for other variables such as education, income, and risk factors such as smoking. The blood samples were analyzed for a type of chemical modification of DNA called “methylation,” which is a chemical process that occurs in our DNA.

The results showed that the group who reported living at addresses surrounded by about 20% greenery within a five-kilometer radius were biologically 2.5 years older than those surrounded by 30% greenery.

Living near more greenness can help you be younger than your actual age, said Dr. Kyeezu Kim, a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, according to Euronews.

However, a high level of social interaction along with increased physical activity contributed in part to the younger age, the researchers said. In contrast, the link between aging and green space was even stronger among people from more disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Previous studies have shown that nature can have a positive effect on health, including more and more talk of nature as a prescription in health care. A recent survey also showed that Swedes believe it is important to have green spaces in cities, which this study also highlights in terms of urban planning.

We believe our findings have significant implications for urban planning in terms of expanding green infrastructure to promote public health and reduce health disparities, said Dr. Kim.

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