It is common to hear this stay outside the big cities and surrounded by Nature prolongs Quality of life and add Year For us Existence,
But that hasn’t happened yet studied in depth scientifically, Now, according to one Washington State University studylive near green or blue spot As Lake one of two Seais associated with a Better physical and mental health In older adults,
The study’s findings showed that simply by having 10% more forest area Was associated with a person’s residential zip code Reduction in severe psychological distresswhich covers mental health problems Which requires treatment and interferes with people’s social life, work or school.
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Besides, 10% increase in green spacescoverage tree relatedKeshav Water or length of walking trails Older people became less likely to report that their Health The general was poor or average.
“Our findings show that Loss of our green and blue urban spaces due to rapid urbanization There can be not only one Environmental effect also affects Health Public,” the study’s first author, WSU’s Elson S. said Aditya Vegraju, a medical student at the (Floyd College of Medicine).
The study is based on survey data Health More than 42,000 people aged 65 or older lived in urban area of Washington state between 2011 and 2019.
In their analysis, the researchers related General and mental health outcomes Number of respondents determined with different measurements Access to green and blue spacesSuch as forests, parks, lakes and rivers, within their residential zip code.
The investigation found that about 2% of those surveyed showed signs of serious psychological distress and 19% reported having a general health fair or poor,
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The researchers presented preliminary findings of this study at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April 2023, where they analyzed it. Percentage of green spaces, tree canopy, forest areas and open spacesAs well as the lengths of the paths of the people studied.
They also extended their analysis to examine how these measures are related Self-rated general health And keep in mind the difference Demography Of the respondents, e.g. race And this level of education,
Although other studies have analyzed how Proximity to nature can affect healthVegaraju said this study is the first to look at this association in older adults in the United States.
Older people are especially vulnerable to health problems. mental health such as depression, which increases the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The chances of getting them are also less Treatment To manage your mental health conditions.
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“It is known that Older adults with depression, anxiety, or mental health problems They are more resistant to medical intervention or talk therapy, which are the best-known treatments for these conditions. If Exposure to green or blue spaces may help prevent, delay or even treat poor mental health in older adults“We need to look at this more closely as a way to improve mental health outcomes in this population,” Vegraju stressed.
And he specified that a possible solution could be Include recipes from natureA growing trend in which healthcare providers give written recommendations to patients spend time outside,
Solmaz Amiri, lead author of the study, said more research is needed to know exactly How to get in touch with green and blue spots Better mental and overall health can be achieved by continuing the study potentially The relationship between nature exposure and cognitive declineWhich may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
“It is thought that exposure to green and blue spots may cause Help slow cognitive decline” said Amiri, a research assistant professor at the WSU School of Medicine and researcher at the Institute for Research and Education for the Advancement of Community Health (IREACH).
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“We would like to know whether Exposure to green and blue space may have a direct impact on dementia Or could it do so by reducing mental health problems that can lead to cognitive decline,” they concluded.
Ultimately, they hope this research will help solve the problem Health disparities among older adults from low socioeconomic backgroundswhich can be attached to a Unequal access to green and blue spaces In the urban areas where they live.