Thursday, October 15, 2009

Green Is Good (in more ways than you think)

A recent Dutch study found that people living near parks, gardens and other green spaces have better health and lower anxiety than those living in urban "concrete jungles" far from green spaces. This study was based on the review of 345,000 medical records.

An October 14 Bloomberg News article by Kristen Hallam titled, "Living Near Green Lowers Anxiety, Depression Rates, Study Finds," reports that better health is likely due from access to fresher air and opportunities to exercise, relax and socialize.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, asserts, "The role of green space in the living environment for health should not be underestimated." The link between green spaces and health was strongest for children and persons with low incomes because they are less mobile and spend more time near home.

I always enjoy finding a scientific basis for one of my firmly held beliefs. Our souls are fed by being in places of natural beauty like parks, gardens and forests. Being out in God's creation is nourishing for body, mind and soul.

However, I wouldn't want to limit the benefits of being outdoors to the color green, for nearly all the colors of the spectrum are found in nature-- deep blue oceans, purple mountains, red and orange sunsets, white clouds, golden leaves, and brightly-colored flowers-- and these can be soul feeding as well.

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