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Harvard School of Public Health researchers offer one of the first controlled longitudinal studies of how living in or near nature improves people’s sense of well-being and adds years to their lives.

Peter James, Jaime E. Hart, Rachel F. Banay, and Francine Laden, Harvard University

Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2016

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Higher levels of green vegetation are associated with decreased mortality. Policies to increase vegetation may provide opportunities for physical activity, reduce harmful exposures, increase social engagement, and improve mental health. While planting vegetation may mitigate effects of climate change, evidence of an association between vegetation and lower mortality rates suggests it also might be used to improve health.


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