Finding the perfect apartment is no walk in the park, but actually, a walk in the park could be just what your apartment hunt needs. According to a major new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, urbanites who live near green spaces can expect to live longer.
Researchers pulled together data from different studies in the U.S., Switzerland, Australia, Canada, China, Spain, and Italy, and found that the more gardens and parks—or even just a small patch of plants—people live near, the longer their life expectancy. More specifically, for every 10 percent increase in vegetation within 500 meters (about 1,640 feet) of your home, your likelihood of premature death decreases by 4 percent. The high price of that park-side one-bedroom is starting to seem more reasonable.
The exact reason for this correlation isn’t totally clear, but plants do have a lot going for them. This study notes their physical health benefits (they help diffuse air pollution), while another shows that neighborhoods with high percentages of tree canopy have been linked to good mental health. Additional research states that just five minutes spent in nature can make you feel happier.
While this report focuses on outdoor green spaces, study author David Rojas also told Fast Company that increasing the amount of greenery inside your home could have similar benefits, too. So if you can’t pick up and move, a couple new houseplants is your next best bet. Why not try one of these?
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