Living near Many Plants May Lead to Longer Life

June 11, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. reside / rɪˈzaɪd / (v.) – to live in a place either permanently or temporarily
Example: My family resides in the Philippines.

2. abundant / əˈbʌn dənt / (adj.) – many or in great amount
Example: His land is abundant in banana trees.

3. greenery / ˈgri nə ri / (n.) – a place or area where there are many plants and trees
Example: Our town is surrounded by greenery.

4. detailed / dɪˈteɪld, ˈdi teɪld / (adj.) – composed of lots of information
Example: I wasn’t able to finish the detailed report about diabetes.

5. track / træk / (v.) – to monitor or follow
Example: Researchers will track the health of the participants.

Read the text below.
A new study found that residing in green spaces may help women live longer.

A team of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who reside in green spaces, or areas abundant with plants and trees, tend to live longer than those who reside in paved areas, or spaces where plants are not commonly found. This is because those who are surrounded by greenery are less prone to contracting life-threatening diseases.

The Harvard researchers reviewed a large pool of data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), a long-term study that analyzes the risk of chronic diseases among women in the United States. Volunteer women regularly answered detailed questionnaires about their diet and physical activities so that NHS researchers could track their health.

The researchers also reviewed NHS records of 108,630 women from 2000 to 2008. A total of 8,604 deaths were recorded during the said period. The researchers then assessed the amount of greenery surrounding each participant through NASA’s satellite imaging.

They discovered that the death rate in the green spaces was 12% lower than in paved areas because there were less cases of cancer, respiratory ailments, and kidney diseases among residents of green spaces.

The researchers believe that aside from lowering the risk of deadly diseases, increasing plants and trees in residential areas may also improve mental health.

Meanwhile, a study published in 2015 from the Michigan State University found that living in blue spaces, or areas near bodies of water, also positively affects mental health. The study   analyzed stress levels among New Zealanders and found that because of water’s calming effect, those near bodies of water had lower stress levels.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Given the choice, would you live in a green space or a blue space? Why?
·         Aside from the environment, what other factors would make an area good to live in?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are other possible advantages of living close to nature? Enumerate.
·         How do you think can people bring nature closer to urbanized areas?

June 11, 2016