Studies show that living near green and wooded areas can increase our life expectancy by 5 years. Imagine this conversation in the social security medical office:
Your blood pressure is very high. Yes, doctor, I supposed it. Will I need medication? No. I recommend something else. Have you heard of ‘ Shinrin-Yoku ‘, an expression in Japanese? It is the equivalent of a few baths in a spa but in another way. I propose a five-day internment in one of the therapeutic forest centers that have an agreement with social security and then a 20-minute walk therapy for three months in the Day Forest Park in your area, near your work. The decision is up to you.
Unthinkable, right? In Japan they have been ahead of us. It is about walking in a natural environment, with trees and natural vegetation, while we breathe deeply, listen to the sound of the wind against the leaves or perceive the silence.
Spaces with centenary trees and areas with large wooded masses and a high diversity of vegetation emit certain substances into the air that are very beneficial for our health.
LOOKING AT TREES AND PLANTS HEALS US
Improving our health can be achieved with daily contact with plants, either taking a walk or growing something in the garden. It is not a gratuitous statement but the result of a good number of studies, which confirm that the greater the relationship with trees and plants, the better the quality of life and the greater well-being.
One of the most clarifying studies was conducted at the University of Essex and was published in the spring of 2011. The conclusions were conclusive:
“Five minutes of contact with green a day, can improve physical and mental health.”
Apparently, outdoor activities such as walking, gardening, cycling or walking through wooded areas, have beneficial effects on the regulation of blood pressure and the cardiovascular system, while they can raise self-esteem, improve mood and promote good mental health.
And all this just for the fact of interacting five minutes a day with green nature.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, A SOURCE OF WELL-BEING
Based on the data obtained, the researchers suggest that the connection with nature should be promoted from the public health system and that outdoor exercise in green spaces should be developed for therapeutic purposes.
Even that buildings and houses should be designed with more green spaces, with urban gardens and orchards, and they also influence that more time for outdoor activities should be included in the education of children.
These recent investigations corroborate something that was already found in a 2003 study, carried out in Japan and entitled “Looking at trees lengthens life.”
The study, which was carried out with 3,144 elderly people from the Tokyo medical school, found that those who had lived in areas with abundant vegetation and wide green spaces, lived on average about 5 years longer than residents in congested urban centers.
Professionals from the Healthcare Institute and the Josep Trueta Hospital carried out a scientific study in which they showed that forests with old trees exert medicinal effects for those who walk through them.
Apparently, spaces with centuries-old trees and areas with large wooded masses and a high diversity of vegetation, emit certain substances into the air that are very beneficial for our health.
It has also been proven that plants inside our home and in workplaces, in addition to generating oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, purify the air, retain dust, absorb polluting chemicals, and regulate humidity and ambient temperature.
In addition, they exert a stimulating effect on the mood, at the same time that they give inner peace, relax, and improve the relationships between those who live surrounded by plants.