WTF Fun Fact 13165 – The Power of Trees

Behold the power of trees! In 2015, a study found that having more than 10 trees on their block made people feel as healthy as if they were seven years younger or made an additional $10,000 a year.

The healing power of trees

According to the Washington Post (cited below): “After analyzing two sets of data from Toronto, researchers report that adding just 10 trees to a single city block could improve how healthy a person feels as much as if that person made an additional $10,000 a year or were seven years younger.”

The study also found that people who lived in neighborhoods with more trees were less likely to have hypertension, be obese, or have diabetes. This was true across all demographic and socioeconomic groups, so even trees in a less affluent neighborhood seemed to work their magic on residents.

Of course, this doesn’t mean there’s a causal link between trees and health. This could just be a correlation. But trees not only affected people’s objective health measures but their perceptions of their well-being as well. We feel better around trees.

Perhaps this is why the Japanese art of “forest bathing” is being explored in relation to cancer treatment.

The study looked at 30,000 people in Toronto, which has universal healthcare. That’s important because access to healthcare is not as reliant on one’s socioeconomic status, so it controls for that factor.

Why are trees good for us?

While the correlation found in the study was strong, the researchers still don’t know why trees make us healthier. One possibility is their ability to remove pollutants from the air.

And the more we learn about the effects of air pollution on our overall health, the more sense that makes. However, there are other studies that show even a short time spent among trees can have beneficial effects on our health.  WTF fun facts

Source: “10 more trees on your street could make you feel 7 years younger, study shows” — Washington Post

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