This is where you should live to improve your mental and physical health, according to research.

This can often be heard live outside big cities and surrounded by nature extends the quality of life and add years ours existence.

But so far there hasn’t been deeply scientifically studied. Now, according to Research at Washington State Universitylive nearby green or blue spaces How lakes or seasConnected with better physical and mental health V aged people.

The results of the study showed that having only 10% more forest area in a person’s residential zip code was associated with reduction of serious psychological stresswhich covers mental health problems that require treatment and interfere with people’s social life, work or study.

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Except, increase in green spaces by 10%coating woodybody water or length hiking trails older people are less likely to report that they health overall was poor to average.

“Our results show that the loss of our green and blue urban spaces due to rapid urbanization may have not only environmental impact but also the impact on health public,” said study first author Aditya Vegaraju, a WSU Elson S. (Floyd College of Medicine) medical student in the study published in the journal Health & Place.

The study is based on data from a survey conducted health more than 42,000 people aged 65 years and older living in urban areas Washington State between 2011 and 2019.

In their analysis, the researchers linked general and mental health outcomes respondents with various indicators that quantified access to green and blue spacessuch as forests, parks, lakes and rivers, within their zip codes.

The investigation revealed that about 2% of respondents showed signs of serious psychological disorder and 19% reported having fair or poor general health.

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The researchers presented preliminary results from this study at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April 2023, where they analyzed percentage of green space, tree canopy, woodland and open spaceas well as the length of the paths of the people studied.

They also expanded their analysis to examine how these measures relate to self-assessment of general health and take into account differences in demography respondents such as race And The level of education.

Although other studies have analyzed how Closeness to nature can affect your healthVegaraju said this study is one of the first to examine this relationship in older adults in the United States.

Older people are especially vulnerable to health problems. mental health such as depression, which has been shown to increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. They are also less likely to receive care to manage your mental health.

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“It is known that older people with depression, anxiety or mental health problems They are more resistant to medical intervention or talk therapy, which are the most well-known treatments for these conditions. If Exposure to green or blue spaces can help prevent, delay or even treat poor mental health in older people.“We need to look at this more closely as a way to improve mental health outcomes for this population,” Vegaraju stressed.

And he clarified that a potential solution could be include nature’s recipesa growing trend that involves healthcare providers giving patients written advice on spend time outdoors.

Lead study author Solmaz Amiri said more research is needed to know for sure. like the impact of green and blue spaces may lead to improved mental and general health, while continuing to explore possible Link between nature exposure and cognitive declinewhich may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

“It is believed that exposure to green and blue spaces can help slow cognitive decline“said Amiri, an assistant professor at WSU School of Medicine and a fellow at the Institute for Research and Education for the Advancement of Public Health (IREACH).

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“We would like to know if Exposure to green and blue space may directly influence dementia or whether it can do this by reducing mental health problems that can lead to cognitive decline,” he concluded.

Ultimately, he hopes this research will help solve the problem. Health inequalities among older people from lower socioeconomic backgroundswhich may be related to unequal access to green and blue spaces in the urban areas where they live.

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