People who live in a green environment, feel healthier. They are also. According to researcher Jolanda Maas that especially since green helps against stress.by Kahliya Round Netherlands, 2050. Utrecht and the Hague are parts of one large super city, in the Vondelpark is a residential tower and meadows no longer exist. Depression and stress are our national diseases. Somewhere on the 43rd floor of a Ministry cites a study from an archive and an official blows the dust away. “Vitamin g: Green environments-healthy environments” by M. Its conclusion: Green makes us healthy and happy. We had listened, but thinks the official.

“This research is one of the first studies that prove the direct positive relationship between green and health”, says Jolanda Maas. On 20 February she will be awarded a PhD at the University of Utrecht. Although people for centuries think that nature is good for man, was that never really scientifically examined. “I wanted to see if there was scientific evidence for a relationship between green and health”, says the researcher. Therefore took out graft patient data of hundreds of thousands of Dutch people by the computer and they combined this with information about the amount of green in the neighborhood. This data came from the Netherlands (LGN4), in which Rural land use file for every fifteen square meters of Netherlands is listed there exactly how soil is used.People in a green area are less often depressed and lonely. Bad news for real city people?

The gelukseffect of green M discovered that people who live in a green environment, feel healthier. “The opportunity that residents assess their health as less well is in 1.5 times larger than little green residential environments in very green living environments,” writes Maas in her thesis. People feel between the concrete so unhealthier. Maas discovered that these people not only feel unhealthier but also really unhealthier. They are more common at the family doctor about the floor with complaints such as diabetes, asthma and depression. For example, the risk of a depression is as high in 1.33 greenless areas than in residential environments with lots of green. Or people near a park in the city or near a meadow or forest in rural areas, makes for health. Green is green. Especially for young people, the elderly and people with low socio-economic status nature good for health.

People who live between the trees and bushes, are healthier. But how do we know now whether this is really the Green? After all, it would be that people in Bussum, Sneek or Den Dolder healthier for other reasons. For example, previous research has shown that people with money generally are healthier than the less fortunate. “It is indeed important to take into account the fact that people who are more educated are healthier or richer and that it is precisely those people who have the choice to live in a greener neighborhood,” says Maas. A detached house with large garden is a lot more expensive than an apartment on four high. “In my thesis I have been using statistical analysis to take account of the fact that wealthier people in a greener neighborhood. You can do this by in the analyses take into account the socio-economic background (education, income) of people. ” According to the researcher you can her research therefore conclude that a green environmenthealthy.Generally move people in rural areas no more than city people. Adolescents are an exception: rural adolescents move is more than city teenagers, according to the research.

Patch for the spirit.Explain why green exactly healthy, turns out to be trickier. However, Maas tried to find out. They examined, for example, or people in a green environment more exercise and sports. From Maas ‘ research shows that this is not the case. People in the city and in the countryside move about as long and as much.Another explanation could be that more green in the neighborhood leading to more social contacts. And social contact can contribute to a healthy and happy feeling. Therefore examined Maas also or people in the Green more often have social contacts. This is shown in part be true. Although people in green environments for example, actually no more contact with their neighbors, they are voélen less lonely than people in the city. This proved particularly for lower-skilled workers.

Maas has another explanation the most convincing. Nature works as a kind of plaster for the spirit. Thanks to trees, plants and grass recover people previously of stress. “That people recover more quickly from stress has to do with the fact that green can hold your attention without trouble for have to do,” says Maas. “If you’re in an urban environment are you need to constantly observe if you don’t knock over walked or ridden. In a green setting don’t need that and you can enjoy the impressions you. ” Also, people who had gone through a difficult period, such as an illness or the death of a loved one, turn out in a green environment to recover more quickly. The nature helps to process grief. That is why Maas also good idea that hospitals and care institutions more turning their attention to the amount of green in their environment.Jolanda Maas PhD on 20 February at the University of Utrecht. Her thesis is called ‘ Vitamin g: Green environments – Healthy environments.

The research was funded by NWO-GaMON.