We’ve talked a lot about the mental and physiological benefits of time outside. One U.S. city specifically is studying these benefits and taking action to improve the health of its residents. A study found that Philadelphia could prevent 400 premature adult deaths a year by increasing its tree cover by 20 to 30 percent.
The study was conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and researchers analyzed 8 million people in seven countries to calculate the relationship between greenery and social and physical health. Green spaces promote social cohesion, exercise, and responsibility for one’s community.
The Philadelphia City Council is aiming for a 30 percent increase in tree cover, but even just a ten percent increase would prevent 376 premature deaths.
In addition to promoting human health, trees also mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce air pollution, and provide safe habitats for animals. We have talked about how planting more trees could prevent another pandemic like COVID-19. Any way you look at it, more trees are a solution for improved human and environmental wellbeing.