A team from the University of Exeter has found that trees aren’t just pretty to look at, but they also have reliable, tangible impacts on human health. According to their research, Londoners who had more trees in their lives popped fewer pills and were overall healthier.
Researchers gathered data on antidepressant use across London from 2009 – 2010 and paired that data with the number of trees in their neighborhoods. The results were rather straight forward: the places with the highest tree densities had the lowest rate of prescription.
Additional research by the USDA’s Forest Service also found that people who live around trees are physically healthier.
“About 850 lives are saved each year, the number of acute respiratory symptoms is lower by about 670,000 incidents each year, and the total health care savings attributed to pollution removal by trees is around $7 billion a year,” the report says.
The authors of the Exeter study did note that they adjusted their data to socioeconomic and employment status, as well as prevalence of smoking and age.
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