It would appear that the benefits of rural living are more than just aesthetic. According to a recent study by Harvard’s School of Public Health, women living in areas with lots of vegetation had a reduced risk of death compared to women living in areas with less green vegetation. The women in the greenest areas had a 12 percent lower overall risk of mortality than those in the least vegetated areas, with a 34 percent lower respiratory disease mortality rate and a 13 percent lower rate of deaths related to cancer.
While this study is not conclusive, it does coincide with earlier research, which shows that people living in green, rural environments experience less anxiety and stress than their urban counterparts; studies have also shown that high levels of stress reduce longevity. This is perhaps because green settings offer opportunities for exercise and socialization, which combat stress and depression. Additionally, air pollution affects city dwellers far more than country folk, and daily exposure to heavy pollution can contribute to myriad health problems such as insulin resistance and weight gain. Green plants act as air filters, providing residents of rural areas with improved air quality.
These studies only confirm what we know to be true–that nature is our best medicine and that where you live is an important component of how well you live. Sovereign Oaks community features all the benefits of rural living–lush greenery, picturesque mountain vistas, backyard farms and community gardens–for a healthy and comfortable lifestyle, while convenient to the burgeoning urban center of Asheville.
To read more on the effects of greenery on health and longevity, you can read the full article on this topic from the Baseline of Health Foundation titled Greener Neighborhoods Are Better for Your Health.