Virginia Researchers Say Exposure to Nature Makes Us Healthier

City life on this big rock can be hectic, fast and noisy, adding more stress to our already busy lives.

Jenny Roe, PhD, who  studies healthy cities and environmental psychology said some of the most common ailments of our time could be alleviated by more exposure to nature.  She mentioned diseases like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, obesity and cardiovascular health.

“A continual exposure to stress builds up and builds up and that will eventually effect your immune system,” Roe explains.

Roe who teaches in the Architecture Department at the University of Virginia came here from the UK where she was a senior Research Leader for the Stockholm Environment Institute. She worked with environmental scientists and health professionals to explore how best to build sustainable, resilient and healthy cities across the globe.

While stress is a part of life, Roe’s research shows that how you respond to it, can determine how healthy you are. “Higher levels of green space in the urban environment actually has an effect on how you regulate your stress.”

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About the Author:

Dr. Campbell is a psychiatrist and owner of Free Range Psychiatry in Luray, Virginia. She is known for her relentless dedication to her patients, unconventional approaches, and avid run-dancing during natural disasters.

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