Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Reason No. 34 to Hike Your Children Kids: Trees Improve Their Physical Health

Want to improve your health? Then spend a lot of time near trees.
If you want your kids to be healthy - both physically and mentally - take them on a hike, and frequently. That's because being near lots of trees improves your health, according to new research.

Researchers, led by psychologist Omid Kardan of the University of Chicago, compared dataset of trees and green space in Toronto to the health records of 30,000 of the city's residents. Those residents who lived amid greenery tended to have better health than those who lived in areas primarily made of concrete and asphalt.

“Having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger,” said Marc Berman, a co-author of the study and also a psychologist at the University of Chicago.

The upshot? Spend more time near trees, like on a hike. Trees really are your friends.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.