Living in the city is no walk in the park—the pace is hectic, the lifestyle can get a little manic, and you always wish there were more parks and green spaces around. There’s a reason why we’re always trying to “escape the city” by going to the suburbs, taking trips to destinations where the air is clean and we’re surrounded by nature. Numerous studies have shown that being surrounded by nature has a positive impact on our health and lifestyle. Here are some of those benefits.
1. You’re happier.
Anne Frank wrote, “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be…”
Several studies have proven that there’s truth in Anne Frank’s wise words. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 revealed that people living in the suburbs and near green spaces felt much happier. In fact, green spaces were shown to lower symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Meanwhile, a 2015 study in London showed that fewer antidepressants were prescribed in neighborhoods with more trees. What does this all mean? You should move somewhere greener if you want to be happier.
2. You can concentrate more.
Sometimes when you hit a wall while working, nothing helps like leaving your work desk for a bit and taking a little walk to help clear the mind. Turns out just seeing green space during your break is enough to restore your concentration. The results of a study conducted by the University of Melbourne show that a 40-second break spent just looking at an image of a green roof was enough to improve focus! If an image can do the job, imagine what walking through nature can do for your concentration.
3. You’re more creative.
It pays—figuratively and literally—to be able to think and solve problems creatively in the workplace and in everyday life. In a 2012 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it found that hikers who were in nature for four to six days (without their electronic devices) were nearly 50 percent more efficient in solving puzzles. Remember, a more creative mind gives you a competitive edge at work and helps you cope with challenges in life more effectively.
4. You’re more active.
Who wants to go jogging in an area that’s dirty and polluted? You work out to become healthier, but if you’re just going to inhale carbon monoxide on your morning run, that totally defeats the purpose.
If you live in the suburbs, in a community where you are surrounded by nature and there are hiking trails and parks, you’d be inspired to go out and exercise more. A Danish National Health Interview Survey conducted in 2005 showed that living near spaces with a lot of trees and greenery increases the likelihood that you’d go out to use those spaces to work out. So if you’ve been wanting to ditch your sedentary life, moving somewhere greener might just be what you need to kickstart a more active lifestyle.
5. You sleep better.
Having a hard time catching up on your Z’s? Going out and being surrounded by nature can help with that. Data from a recent study by the University of Illinois showed that people living in areas with more vegetation slept better, particularly people over 65 years old.
Meanwhile, one study quotes melatonin expert Russel J. Reiter of the University of Texas Health Science Center on the positive impact that spending time outdoors and under the sun has on sleep quality. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles. Getting more sunlight contributes to optimal melatonin production. Healthy levels of this hormone keep you awake when you should be up and make you sleepy when you need to be in bed. So spend some more time under the sun (Remember to put on sunscreen!) and you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.
6. You recover from illness faster.
There’s a reason why hospitals are keen on integrating parks as part of their buildings. Based on the findings of a study led by environmental psychologist Rogert Ulrich in 1984, being surrounded by trees and plants could help patients recover faster. The researchers discovered that patients who had a view of trees from their windows recovered faster than patients who only had a view of a brick wall. It looks like living near nature not only keeps you healthy but, in the event that you do get sick (or undergo surgery), it can also help you recover faster.
There are so many benefits to being around nature that, here’s an idea, instead of just traveling to greener destinations, why not actually move to the suburbs and live close to nature?
Avida Northdale Settings Alviera in Pampanga is a suburban residential development envisioned to promote living in harmony with nature. Located in Alviera, Ayala Land’s masterplanned community intended to be the next growth center in Central Luzon, it intends to blend the convenience of city living with the advantages of green spaces. So if your goal is to live a happier and healthier life, Northdale is the perfect place to settle down and—excuse the pun—put down roots. Learn more about Avida Northdale Settings Alviera in Pampanga today.