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Living amid greens makes you less stressed: study
London, Oct 17 (IANS):
Published on 17 Oct. 2009 11:42 PM IST
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People living close to green spaces have lower rates of anxiety or depression and better health than those living in concrete jungles, a new study has confirmed. The researchers based their findings on the health records of people registered with 195 family doctors in 95 practices across the Netherlands, serving a population of nearly 350,000. The percentages of green space within a one and three km radius of their homes were calculated using the household's postcode. On average, green space accounted for 42 percent of the residential area within one km radius and almost 61 percent within a three km radius of people's homes. Green space within a km radius of an individual's home had the most impact on rates of ill health, said a release of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH), which published these findings. The annual rates of 15 of 24 different disease clusters, categorised as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, mental ill health, respiratory disease, neurological disease and digestive disease, were significantly lower among those living close to more extensive areas of green space. "This study shows that the role of green space in the living environment for health should not be underestimated," the study authors conclude, adding that many of the diseases/disorders on which green space seems to exert a positive influence are common and costly to treat.

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