At Trees for Hamilton, we believe there is a definite relationship between trees and human health. The more trees the better! There are several published medical articles demonstrating this relationship. In particular, trees benefit respiratory, cardiovascular and mental health. Here is a summary of a few key articles.
The relationship between trees and human health: evidence from the spread of the emerald ash borer.
There was an increase in mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness in counties infested with the emerald ash borer beetle. Across the 15 states in the study area, the beetle was associated with an additional 6113 deaths related to illness of the lower respiratory system, and 15,080 cardiovascular-related deaths. Results suggest that loss of trees to the emerald ash borer beetle increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness.
US trees remove tons of pollution, save hundreds of lives
In 2010, tree air pollution removal saved more than 850 lives, prevented 670,000 incidents of respiratory health issues and resulted in $6.8 billion in pollution-related health care costs, according to a study published in Environment Pollution.
High Tree Canopy Cover Results in Fewer Heat-Related Emergencies
Areas in Toronto with low tree canopy cover have a significantly higher risk of heat-related emergencies and deaths than areas with more canopy cover.
Aggression and Violence in the Inner City: Effects of Environment via Mental Fatigue
Public housing residents with nearby trees and natural landscapes reported 25% fewer acts of domestic aggression and violence. Trees contributed to a greater sense of safety and security in their neighbourhoods.
Regular physical activity in natural environments halves risk of poor mental health
Data from the Scottish Health Survey 2008 looked at different environments in which respondents were physically active. Only activity in natural environments was associated with a lower risk of poor mental health.
ADHD: Nature Therapy Helps Kids
Green therapy – exposure to natural settings – appears to help reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Symptoms were significantly reduced when kids participated in “green outdoor activities”.
Physiologic relaxation and Immune function
Several studies have been done regarding the effect of nature therapy. These studies look at the change in human physiologic markers when exposed to trees; immune function, specifically anti-cancer activity, improves and stress levels decrease.