You desire to live longer. One component of the solution may be to live closer to more green areas.
According to a study published on Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, if you live somewhere with greater long-term exposure to greenery, you may live an additional 2.5 years on average.
The paper advances understanding of the health advantages of living near nature by illuminating the physiological effects of nature on human bodies. In four American cities, the researchers studied how long-term exposure to nearby green spaces impacted the biological ageing of a group of more than 900 people.
Lifang Hou, a preventive medicine professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the study’s lead investigator, said: “Our study shows that being near green space caused some biological or molecular changes that can be detected in our blood.”
The researchers analysed age-related biological changes in the study’s participants over a 20-year period with information on green spaces close to where those people lived in order to investigate the relationship between prolonged exposure to greenery and ageing. They were able to determine biological age at the molecular level using blood DNA by examining minute variations in the way genes involved in the ageing process function, according to Hou.
A person may be more susceptible to age-related illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular disease, or Alzheimer’s if their biological age, which can be sped up or slowed down depending on how they live, is older than their chronological age, she added.
According to Hou, biological age “really depends on what we do daily,” such as what we eat and how busy we are.
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