Bridge the Health Gap Between the Rich and the Poor

Greenery is central to eco-friendly communities and its role in improving health continues to be supported by scientific research. The latest evidence, corroborating the role of greenery in maintaining public health, comes from a study published in the renowned British medical journal The Lancet. It concludes that green spaces not only reduce blood pressure and stress levels, preventing heart diseases and stroke, but also bridge the gap between the health condition of the poor and that of the more well-off members of society.

The research has been conducted by Dr. Richard Mitchell (Glasgow University) and Dr. Frank Popham of (University of St Andrews). They analyzed the records of over 366, 000 people, who passed away between 2001 and 2005, concluding that even a little area covered with greenery plays a significant healing role in the health of the population that lives nearby. This finding is important in that it counters the mainstream belief that social class is the major determinant of health – rich people being privileged with better health due to their higher socio-economic profile.

For both health professionals and the general public, the health-friendly effects of green spaces denote a new hope of living longer and happier life without any demand for wealth. Local councils can bring about a notable improvement in people’s health by introducing more greenery in the locality.

From health’s viewpoint, poor people can get the same share in life as do the rich. What is needed is more volunteering for increasing the greenery in one’s area. Previous studies have proved the positive role of roadside trees in improving health in urban areas. The recent findings strengthen the belief in the environmental-friendly practice of plantation – an activity that literally promotes life against the threat of diseases.