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Forests and other green areas promote health and happiness

Next month the IUFRO - The Global Network for Forest Science Cooperation - is presenting a session highlighting how forests and green areas promote health and happiness. Scientists say even though most of us know spending time in nature makes us feel good, few people understand there is scientific evidence that green areas promote health, reduce stress, relieve aggression and shorten healing time from illness.

Forests and green areas can relieve stress and boost immunity. Immune dysfunction is linked to a variety of diseases that include cancer. The medication Taxol, used to treat breast and ovarian cancer, comes from trees, making preservation of forests and other green areas an important focus for health. Xylitol used to prevent dental caries comes from hardwood bark.

Forests and other green areas promote health and happiness in several ways. Time spent in nature boost immunity and can help fight depression.

According to Dr. Eeva Karjalainen, of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla Karjalainen and coordinator on the health benefits of forests to be presented at the 2010 IUFRO World Forestry Congress in Seoul, "Preserving green areas and trees in cities is very important to help people recover from stress, maintain health and cure diseases. There is also monetary value in improving people's working ability and reducing health care costs." she says.

There is scientific evidence that forests and green areas promote health and happiness. Scientists from the IUFRO World Forestry Congress say forests and green areas can increase productivity and help reduce health care costs.

In Charlotte you can find a variety of natural settings to spend time. Consider a hike at Reedy Creek Park, located at 2900 Rocky River Road in northeastern Mecklenburg County. You might even find a Native American artifact along the way.

Maintaining trees and green spaces in cities can promote health and happiness. The scientists say forests and green spaces are important for health and happiness. Green spaces in cities can promote healing and help reduce health costs.

IUFRO

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