You’ve probably noticed how being around trees, grass and flowers can make you feel better. Now, evidence is mounting that the presence of green and growing things is associated with being healthier, too.

Reporting at Journalist’s Resource, Justin Feldman summarized the findings of a number of recent scientific studies exploring the relationship between urban green space and human health. One study of schoolchildren in Barcelona, Spain, showed a positive association between cognitive development and “greenness index” (amount of vegetation the students encountered at home and school and over the course of  their commute). A survey of adult twins in a U.S. data base, adjusted for income, activity and neighborhood traits, revealed that individuals with more access to green space tended to exhibit less stress, depression and anxiety than other study participants. And an assessment of birth outcomes in Vancouver, Canada, found that the more green cover pregnant women had in the vicinity of their homes, the higher the birth weight of full-term babies and the lower the likelihood of preterm births, even after taking other environmental factors such as air pollution, noise and proximity to parks into account.

Read more results and check out links to the original reports here. View Ensia homepage

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