This story was originally published by Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
As urbanization, population growth, and the rampant destruction of the natural world increase, human beings have become more and more isolated from nature — and at a significant cost.
Spending time in nature is good for both the body and the mind, leading to health benefits including reduced depressive symptoms and lower blood pressure. As it turns out, the benefits of exposure to nature don’t stop with individuals — they also extend to entire communities and societies.
A study recently published in the journal BioScience finds that contact with nature is associated with stronger communities and lower crime rates.
For the study, the researchers measured the relationships between individual and community assessments of exposure to nature, community cohesion, and crime rates. They asked a group of 2,000 participants from various communities to report on their access to nature, the amount of time spent in nature, and how much nature they can see from their homes. These responses were then pooled to come up with a meas... Read more