This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A Japanese study analysing death rates for 3341 people suggested that living in areas with walkable green areas positively influenced longevity of urban senior citizens independent of their age, sex,marital status, baseline functional status, and socioeconomic level.


correlations between proximity to green space and indices of health, disease and longevity irrespective of socioeconomic status.


For example, a large-scale study of GP records (345,143) in the Netherlands indicated that the annual prevalence rates for 15 of 24 chosen disease clusters was lower in areas with more green space within a 1 km radius... especially for anxiety disorder and depression. Although the individual effect sizes were small, there are potential positive impacts for population-level health gain associated with access to green space.


A Japanese study analysing death rates for 3341 people suggested that living in areas with walkable green areas positively influenced longevity of urban senior citizens independent of their age, sex, marital status, baseline functional status, and socioeconomic level. The probability of five-year survival was significantly higher for residents with walkable green streets near their residence. There appears to be a positive correlation between the proximity of trees and vegetation and residents’ perceptions of wellbeing and security compared to areas with less green space. Observational and qualitative studies in urban areas have shown associations between access to green spaces and positive effects on social interaction and cohesion in different age groups, by providing inclusive places to meet. Natural environments can also provide opportunities to increase volunteering and community participation and community satisfaction ratings.


Patients with views of nature through hospital windows can show improved post-operative recovery and lower need for pain relief, while patients with symptoms of stress begin to show lower levels of fear and anger. Older residents who sat in a small garden for one hour each day significantly improved all measures of concentration compared to those staying in their room.


Green space and access to nature also appear to reduce antisocial behaviour. An observational study in disadvantaged urban areas in the United States indicated that residential blocks with more green space had half the level of crime compared to similar blocks with less green space. A follow-up study of families randomly allocated to identical housing blocks showed lower levels of aggressive behaviour and domestic violence in families in green space areas than ‘non-green’ areas.


As far as physiological effects of the natural world are concerned, experimental studies showed a reduction in measured physiological stress indicators whilst looking at nature compared to non-nature viewing. This can lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress hormones, including cortisol, and slow metabolism.


An Ageing Island Page 27 P 27


It is clear that there may be a financial cost to the Island if such opportunities to be active are not maintained and enhanced. For example, in England where physical inactivity is estimated to cost the UK healthcare system more than £1 billion a year, only 34% of adults report meeting the minimum recommended weekly levels of activity of 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.


Given that regular walking both reduces the risk of various health conditions and is a feasible option for many individuals, further promotion of, and support for, walking in nature could be an important public health intervention, where as little as 90 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity a week can be beneficial for health.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116