According to NBC News, a study conducted at Harvard School of Public Health shows that women living in greener areas have less of a chance of dying due to cancer or respiratory illness.While the numbers aren't too terribly high, with a reduced 12% and 34% respectively, the numbers have taken researchers by surprise, who didn't think there was a correlation between those living in greener and more-paved cities.
"We were surprised to observe such strong associations between increased exposure to greenness and lower mortality rates," said research associate Peter James. "We were even more surprised to find evidence that a large proportion of the apparent benefit from high levels of vegetation seems to be connected with improved mental health."
Researchers used information gathered by a Nurse's Health Study, which issued a survey out to volunteers in 2000. Between the date of issue and 2008, 8,604 deaths were reported. Using satellites, researchers then looked at the area where the volunteers lives, observing just how green their surroundings were.
"Women living in the highest quintile of cumulative average greenness in the 250 meter area around their home had a 12 percent lower rate of all-cause non-accidental mortality compared to those in the lowest quintile," wrote James and the other researchers in their findings.
Further study needs to be issued to find out more, as the initial Nurse's Health Study mostly covered young white women with higher socioeconomic status. Several studies before this have pointed to the benefits of living in a greener neighborhood.
"Higher exposure to greenness has been consistently linked to lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress," wrote the researchers.