While searching for ways to optimize your aging relative’s health, you will discover many suggestions for improving longevity related to diet and exercise. However, new research indicates environmental factors may play a large role in increasing longevity in women. If you provide home care in Jefferson County for a senior loved one, here’s what you should know about the connection between greenery and longevity.
A recent study at the prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital researched the lifespans of women who lived in areas with dense vegetation versus those who lived in areas with little surrounding plant life. Overall, the women living in the greener areas lived about 12 percent longer than their urban counterparts did.
Many factors may explain this startling finding. The researchers carefully considered several variables before drawing their conclusions, including smoking habits, ethnicity, age, social status, and economic information. The scientists discovered that women living in greener areas were far less likely to die of cancer or respiratory illnesses. Mortality rates from cancer were 13 percent lower for women living in areas of high vegetation, while rates from respiratory illness declined a jaw-dropping 34 percent.
Researchers believe that women living in greener areas have more opportunity for exercise and social interactions, and vegetation protects residents from the negative effects of air pollution and excessive noise. In addition, the study also found that women residing in areas of more vegetation have improved mental health.
Previous studies had suggested a link between living in greener areas and increased longevity, but those studies had a narrow focus and inconclusive findings. The Brigham and Women’s study is the most comprehensive of its kind to date. They gathered the data from an eight-year study of over 108,000 women. Researchers used images from satellites to measure the amount of vegetation surrounding each participant through every season during a variety of years. After factoring in the other risk factors, scientists discovered the definitive link between greener living areas and longer life.
This information may lead planners, architects, and builders to rethink the amount and type of greenery they include in residential areas. Meanwhile, homeowners may also want to add more gardens and greenery to their yards to help reap these benefits.
Interested in learning more about boosting senior health? Turn to Home Care Assistance. All of our part-time and live-in caregivers in Jefferson County are trained in the Balanced Care Method, a holistic approach to senior care that encourages daily exercise, healthy eating, socialization, and mental stimulation. For more information, give us a call at (303) 987-5992 and schedule your free in-home consultation.