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Study Finds How Urban Trees Nurture Senior Health

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Expert Gardener & Horticulturist in Training

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Home » Benefits of Trees » Study Finds How Urban Trees Nurture Senior Health

As we stroll through the shaded lanes of our cities, it’s not just the beauty of trees that embraces us, but a silent, nurturing force for our well-being.

For men and women aged 65 and above, these urban forests are not merely a backdrop to daily life but a vital contributor to health and happiness.

A comprehensive review has shed light on the profound impacts of urban trees on human health, offering insights that are particularly relevant to senior women.

The Green Prescription

The review categorizes the benefits of urban trees into three significant areas: Reducing Harm, Restoring Capacities, and Building Capacities.

For senior men and women, these benefits translate into practical, health-enhancing outcomes.

  1. Reducing Harm: Urban trees are nature’s air filters, significantly reducing pollutants that can exacerbate chronic conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. For those among us who cherish morning walks, trees provide a barrier against harmful UV rays and excessive heat, making our outdoor time safer and more enjoyable. Moreover, areas with dense tree coverage have been associated with lower crime rates, adding a layer of safety to our neighborhoods.
  2. Restoring Capacities: The serenity of a tree-lined park does more than please the eye. It has been shown to aid in mental health, reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. This is particularly meaningful for us as we navigate the challenges of aging, offering a natural antidote to the blues that sometimes visit us. The presence of trees has also been linked to improved attention and cognitive restoration, suggesting that our green neighbors can help keep our minds sharp.
  3. Building Capacities: Perhaps most encouraging is how urban trees promote an active lifestyle. Parks and green spaces invite walking, gardening, and social activities, which are essential for maintaining mobility, heart health, and social connections. Interestingly, proximity to trees has been correlated with healthier birth outcomes in the broader community, hinting at the broader societal benefits of urban forestry.

A Call to Action

Urban Trees Nurture Health

This wealth of evidence underscores the importance of urban trees in our lives, especially as we age.

However, access to these green resources is not uniform. Many communities, particularly those in underprivileged areas, lack adequate green spaces, which can widen health disparities.

As engaged citizens and custodians of our communities, we can advocate for more equitable urban forestry policies that ensure all senior men and women have access to the healing power of trees.

Conclusion

The connection between urban trees and our well-being is profound and multifaceted. As we seek to age gracefully, the role of these green guardians cannot be overstated.

They are not only a source of physical health benefits but also a sanctuary for our mental and emotional well-being.

Let’s champion the cause of urban trees, for our health, for the beauty of our cities, and for the legacy we leave for generations to come.

This review doesn’t just highlight the importance of trees in urban areas; it calls for a collective effort to nurture and expand these green spaces.

For senior men and women, the benefits are clear: healthier, happier lives supported by the canopy of nature’s guardians.

Let’s embrace and advocate for our urban forests, ensuring they thrive for the well-being of all.

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Source:

Wolf KL, Lam ST, McKeen JK, Richardson GRA, van den Bosch M, Bardekjian AC. Urban Trees and Human Health: A Scoping Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 18;17(12):4371. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124371. PMID: 32570770; PMCID: PMC7345658.

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Fern Berg - Founder

Expert Gardener & Horticulturist in Training

Fern has planted and currently cares for over 100 different native and exotic fruit, nut, and ornamental trees. She also cultivates an extensive vegetable garden, several flower gardens and cares for an ever-growing happy family of indoor plants. Fern has a special interest in biodynamic farming, food production and closed loop agriculture. Fern founded Tree Vitalize to help guide others with an interest in tree planting, identification and care.