Paying attention to your environment can help improve your health

Posted on: 5:35 pm, March 27, 2013, by , updated on: 06:46pm, March 27, 2013

A new study points out the need to pay close attention to your surroundings when it comes to your family’s good health.

The study says your environment can dictate your mood, and even affect your chances of developing certain illnesses.

Researchers used an EEG scan to study the brain’s responses to different environments, including loud industrial areas, busy shopping districts and natural park-like settings.

They found that “green” spaces brought on relaxation, more willingness to be active, and an increase in learning for children.  It’s also a healthier environment.

Dr. Comilla Sasson of the University of Colorado School of Medicine says there’s a good reason for that. “People who live in industrial areas will have more effects of pollutants–unclean air–because of the environment they’re in. Then when you move into the green open space you’ve got room to move, the greenery around you, producing those chemicals (that have) a positive effect.”

Dr. Sasson says sunlight can also lift your mood and adds, “It actually allows our body to release chemicals where you get that high feeling.”

Colorado residents are lucky, receiving more than 300 days of sunlight per year.

We can’t spend all day in the park, but doctors say we can do things to enhance our surroundings, like adding flowers to a desk and working in well-lit areas.

For more information on the study you can visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23467965