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Parks and Increased Immunity

Portland's Forest Park (Portland Development Commission)

Anahad O’Connor of the New York Times tests the claim that exposure to plants and parks can boost immunity. The finding: yes. According to the article:

For those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function.

The studies cited can be found here, here and here. They don’t specify city parks, so that should be considered. But many cities, and many parks, are full of forests. (The most well-known urban parks, such as Central Park, Prospect Park (Brooklyn) have them, and places such as Forest Park in Portland and Rock Creek in DC are basically all forest.) The take-home here is that programs and facilities that allow people to get out into these places may help improve their health.

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