Live Near Green Spaces to Stave Off Metabolic Syndrome
Middle-aged and older adults that live in greener neighborhoods have a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, reports research from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in the journal Environmental Pollution. The study followed more than 6,000 British adults in a cohort initially between ages 45 and 69 for 14 years, and correlated health records and interviews with satellite images of greenery. They found that exposure to green spaces seemed to help prevent metabolic syndrome and its individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats and hypertension. The results “could be related to better opportunities provided by green spaces to perform physical activity, as well as a decrease in exposure to air pollution,” notes Carmen de Keijzer, first author of the study. Women fared even better than men, perhaps because women may spend more time in green spaces.