Research shows that a walk in the park is more than just a nice way to spend an afternoon. It's an essential component of good health, according to University of Illinois environment and behaviour researcher Frances "Ming" Kuo.
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Greener environments enhance recovery from surgery, enable and support higher levels of physical activity, improve immune system functioning, help diabetics achieve healthier blood glucose levels, and improve functional health status and independent living skills among older adults.
By contrast, environments with less green space are associated with greater rates of childhood obesity; higher rates of 15 out of 24 categories of physician-diagnosed diseases, including cardiovascular diseases; and higher rates of mortality in younger and older adults.