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Friday, January 22, 2021

WESTERN WELLNESS: LIVING NEAR NATURE

The nature surrounding every corner of campus does more than just look nice, according to a new study.

Women who live in areas that have more greenery had a 12 percent lower rate of mortality when compared to those who don’t live in greener areas, according to a study done by Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study also found women had a 34 percent lower risk of respiratory disease related deaths, a 13 percent lower risk for cancer and a 41 percent lower risk of kidney disease related deaths.

“[Nature] is a good way to take a break. It makes me feel more connected to myself and other people as well.”

Senior Julia Ensign

While previous studies have examined the health benefits of being exposed to nature, this was the first study nationwide to look at the combination of greenness and death rates.

On campus, there is an abundance of greenery, which creates several options for students to get outside and enjoy the benefits of living in such an environment.

Senior Julia Ensign, an environmental science major, said that living near Western makes her care about nature more. She also said being around nature is a great stress reliever.

“[Nature] is a good way to take a break. It makes me feel more connected to myself and other people as well. It helps me gather my thoughts,” she said.

Ensign said she has become more active since coming to Western, partly because there are other people who are active that help her get involved and there are a lot of things for her to do.

Ensign likes going to Clayton Beach to get outside because its location is close by. At Clayton, there are woods to go to and a beach as well.

CNN reported that while the study focused on women’s health, the team who collected the research believed the findings would be similar for men if they had been included in the study.

Do you have a secret place on in Bellingham that you go to enjoy the outdoors? Let The Western Front know in the comments.

Hanna Brown, “Western Wellness” reporter. // Photo by Ian Koppe
Hanna Brown, “Western Wellness” reporter. // Photo by Ian Koppe

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