City parks and green spaces help to cool the city, increase biodiversity, and create a sense of serenity in the city. They also aid in the slowing of biological aging.
According to a new study published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, persons who have access to green spaces are on average 2.5 years younger biologically than those who do not.
According to Dr. Kyeezu Kim, the study’s primary author and a postdoctoral scholar at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, living near more greenery can make you look younger than your real age.
Green space exposure has previously been related to improved cardiovascular health and lower mortality rates. More physical activity and social contacts are thought to be at work, but whether parks actually delayed cellular aging is unknown.
The researchers looked into DNA chemical alterations known as “methylation” to find out more. Previous research has shown that “epigenetic clocks” based on DNA methylation can be an excellent predictor of health issues like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive function, as well as a more accurate way of determining age than calendar years.
They discovered that those whose residences were surrounded by 30% green cover within a 5km radius were biologically 2,5 years younger than those whose homes were bordered by 20% green cover.
The gains were not distributed fairly. Black people who had more access to green space were only one year younger biologically, while white people were three years younger. For example, parks in disadvantaged areas that are used for illegal activities may be less frequented, negating the benefits.