It’s almost goes without saying – spending time in nature just feels good. Hiking through a forest is calming and peaceful. So, does the simple presence of trees in your yard have an equally healthful effect? Not so amazingly, research says yes — trees around your house can actually improve your health.
Being surrounded by trees can reduce stress, improve your overall health, reduce asthma in children — and the list goes on. In fact, the American Society of Landscape Architects has put together an impressive list of sources to research the subject in an article on The Health Benefits of Nature.
Check out the list — It contains good reference on everything from heart health to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The research is pretty convincing and is based on some massive natural events. For example, an article in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine cited research regarding damage to trees from the emerald ash borer. From 1990 to 2007, over 100 million trees spreading across 15 states were lost to an infestation of the emerald ash borer. Using statistical analyses of the populations in these states, the loss of the trees was “was associated with an additional 6,113 deaths related to illness of the lower respiratory system, and 15,080 cardiovascular-related deaths.”
What about trees’ effect on simple stress? The evidence is perhaps even more compelling. The Scandinavians in particular have studied this topic. Simply looking out the window at trees can actually lower your stress. In an article the Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, results of one test “showed a significant direct effect of forest views from windows on job satisfaction and stress. Respondents’ personal information such as gender, age and job category did not influence on the window view effects. As expected, employees’ job satisfaction and job stress were highly and negatively correlated.”
So, along with simply beautifying your home and adding to its value, trees can do even more — improve your health!