Trees do a body good
by Stephanie Robinson
August 4, 2021
From improving air quality to reducing extreme heat, trees improve our lives in many ways. It's well-documented how neighborhoods with more trees have neighbors with lower rates of asthma, diabetes, and other illnesses. We know that green spaces and access to nature positively impact our mental health and sense of wellbeing.
But trees affect our health in a more subtle way, too.
Green spaces like tree-lined streets and shady parks inspire healthy habits – we're more likely to get outdoors and get moving when we are surrounded by greenery.
A jog becomes less daunting when you have a shady, beautiful route to look forward to. A bike ride is more enjoyable if you don't have to worry about getting sunburnt along the trail. And you might opt to walk instead of drive for an errand if your destination has tree-lined paths along the way.
This leafy influence is a big deal for kids, too. Students perform better in school if they have views of trees from the classroom. Nature is a classroom of its own, inspiring play and exploration that grows confident, curious children.
When setting out to start a new healthy habit, we set ourselves up for success by creating an environment that supports our goals. If we want to exercise after work, that means packing a gym bag with a change of clothes. If we want to eat better, we stock our pantries with healthier foods.
Physical activity is crucial to our physical and mental health, and tree canopy creates an environment that encourages it. It's time for all neighborhoods to have their fair share of green spaces that grow healthy, thriving communities.
We are committed to working with community members to grow the tree canopy in neighborhoods that need it most. Want to help? Consider signing up for free trees, volunteering, or making a gift to support this work.