A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives says that being around green vegetation helps women live longer. According to Elle UK, it’s not just because natural environments are less polluted, or because they give people more opportunities to exercise. Exposure to nature also affected mental health, lowering levels of depression.
The study used satellite imagery to determine the level of vegetation around women’s homes and compared that with data on their risk of mortality. “We were surprised to observe such strong associations between increased exposure to greenness and lower mortality rates,” said Peter James, a researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors. “We were even more surprised to find evidence that a large proportion of the benefit from high levels of vegetation seems to be connected with improved mental health.”
I’m not a scientist, but it seems entirely possible that if being around greenery is good for women, it’s probably good for men, too. It’s also possible that people might experience some of the same positive effects just by looking at pictures of greenery—especially if those pictures also feature beautiful, relaxed women. If you’d like to be part of a very unscientific study, check out the pics on this page, and see if you notice any improvements to your mood.