5 Top Health Benefits of Landscape Architecture
People enjoy being in nature for multiple reasons: to work out, to escape from the stress of everyday life, or to simply breathe fresh air. Others head to the mountains or the woods to find a cure for what ails them and to reap the health benefits of spending time in the great outdoors. Whatever your goal, it is evident that spending time in nature is beneficial to both your mental and physical health.
While some of these benefits are well known — such as interacting with nature to reduce obesity and stress — other benefits are still hidden from public knowledge and are being studied by the scientific community. Recent research has shown that spending more time in nature might be much more beneficial to health than we anticipated and can bring benefits in a variety of ways.
Health Benefits of Landscape Architecture:
- Type II Diabetes
According to a Japanese study published in the US National Library of Medicine, walking approximately three kilometers a day can help manage the symptoms of Type II diabetes. In this study, blood glucose levels of 87 non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients were examined before and after a three- to six-kilometer walk. The results showed that the mean blood glucose level changed considerably, from 179mg/dl to 108mg/dl.
Walking outside is by far more pleasant than trudging on a treadmill, and landscapes architects can easily contribute to a healthier habit and encourage people to control their sugar levels by creating walking trails in parks.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Green areas can also soften symptoms of ADHD. Some of these symptoms are a serious difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity and poor impulse control. Acknowledged by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 11 percent of children 4 to 17 years of age (6.4 million) have been
- Depressive Disorder
The benefits of having a park near your home can go beyond the physical interactions; spending time in a park can also reduce symptoms of major depressive disorder or depression. A research report published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information indicates that interacting with nature improves cognition and affect for individuals with depression. The research covered 20 individuals diagnosed with this disease: 12 female, eight male, with a mean age of 26.
The results show mood and working memory capacity improvement, bringing up some important questions for future researchers. Two of these questions are: What are the long-lasting effects of walking in nature and how can we motivate people with depression to take these walks more often?
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
In some cases, nature not only decreases some symptoms of the disorder, but also is an essential component for the healing process. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by a traumatic event such as an assault, rape, or events during warfare.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Another health benefit of landscape architecture worth mentioning is how spending time in nature can help minimize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. A study published in the American Journal of Alzheimer`s Disease & Other Dementias shows the success of horticultural therapy. Oftentimes, patients who suffer from dementia have difficulty engaging in activities that elicit elevated levels of adaptive behavior.
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