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Five Ways Trees Improve Your Healthby Contributor May 19, 2016
The benefits trees provide are simply too numerous to catalog. In addition to providing humans with a number of basic needs – including relatively important things like oxygen and food – trees improve property values, reduce crime rates and absorb excess runoff water.
However, the most important benefits trees provide are those that help people live longer, healthier lives.
Trees Remove Pollutants From the Air
In addition to their respiratory activities, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, trees help remove particulate matter from the air. Thanks in large part to their plentiful leaves, which give trees an extraordinarily amount of surface area, trees function as giant dust traps. When a gust of dust-laden air blows across a tree, many of the solid particles stick to the bark, branches and leaves.
Trees Lower Stress
Although it sounds impossible, simply looking at natural areas containing trees lowers stress, decreases blood pressure, lowers your heart rate and helps improve your ability to concentrate. Spending time outdoors in green spaces also helps to spark creativity. Additionally, exposure to trees is helpful for reducing the symptoms associated with ADHD.
Trees Shorten Healing Times for the Sick and Injured
An important study, conducted by Roger S. Ulrich and published in a 1984 issue of Science, examined the difference in recovery times for two different groups of patients who had undergone gallbladder surgery. Ulrich placed one group of patients in rooms overlooking trees, while the patients in the other group were placed in rooms facing a non-descript wall. Ulrich found that the patients who could see the trees healed more quickly, and they also required fewer pain medications while recovering.
Trees Encourage Walking and Play
One of the most important benefits trees provide is their tendency to make walking routes more attractive. For example, trees shade walkways, attract wildlife, produce aromatic flowers and offer a kaleidoscope of colors that change with the seasons. Additionally, because trees improve the air quality, your body will thank you for playing in areas with plentiful trees. All of these things help encourage adults and children alike, to go outside and move around, which is crucial for remaining healthy.
Trees Keep You Warmer in the Winter and Cooler in the Summer
Not only do trees provide shade from the sweltering summer sun, they also draw water from the ground and release it into the air, which helps to lower the local temperatures. Once winter rolls around, trees can function as windscreens, which prevent cold winds from blowing the warmth away from your house.