According to a research study by Spanish and American scientists, people living close to green spaces were found to be, on average, biologically younger by 2.5 years compared to those living away from such areas. This was measured through a DNA chemical modification process called “methylation”, which is used to estimate a person’s biological age.
The study involved the analysis of the proximity to vegetation of 924 people’s homes in four US cities over 20 years. The researchers then correlated this data with blood samples from the same period. The findings highlighted that those living within a 5 kilometers (or about 3 miles) radius with 30 percent green coverage were biologically younger than those with only 20 percent green coverage.
This difference in biological age is partly attributed to increased physical exercise and social interactions in greener areas, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Other studies support these findings, suggesting frequent visits to green spaces can reduce dependency on medication for conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, and mental health issues.