Humans are animals. Just because we evolved into concentrated advanced societies, we still have a connection with the Earth. Research and life experience proves we humans do better when exposed to other living creatures. That’s the gift of landscaping.
A National Association of Landscape Professionals speaks to how our landscapes give us environmental, economic, security, and health benefits. We take many benefits for granted, but miss them if removed from us. Landscape’s benefits are present at our homes and our workplaces.
Gift of Landscaping
Turfgrass, planting beds, and trees absorb a lot of noise. Helping calm the bustle of urban and suburban existence.
Recent studies find large trees and nice landscaping helps reduce crime. The USDA Forest service studied data from several neighborhoods and found a significant lower crime rate where the homes were nicely landscaped.
Part of that is due to security systems, policing, and the subconscious signals a nicely kept neighborhood send. But they found a direct data showing that larger trees remove places for criminals to hide.
Studies show that being out in nature works wonders to reduce stress and improve the bodies healing abilities. So much so that urban hospitals are installing “healing gardens” for their patients. The University of Pittsburgh documented that spinal surgery patients had less pain when exposed to natural light.
Several organizations document people have lower blood pressure, stress levels, and better feelings when around plants and animals. Even a plant in an office or looking out of a window at a tree causes the good effects.
Office attitudes and staff productivity have been linked to access to plants and animals too. A University of Michigan study showed improved memory and attention. That makes good business sense.
University of Washington study documented that business performance improves when the facility employs a nice landscaping and indoor plantings. Business rental buildings with high
quality landscaping have 7% higher rental rates.
High quality landscaping is desired by retail shoppers, who spend more time and 9-12% more money in well landscaped shopping areas. Shoppers will travel further to be in such areas. Employees with natural views at the work areas have higher productivity rates and job satisfaction.
Everyone knows well landscaped communities just feel nicer. But it’s proven they also have healthier residents and an improved quality of life.
A study by Husqvarna found that 63% of respondents would voluntarily pay more for apartments and houses in nicely landscaped areas. Some health benefits are due to interactions outdoors;
Sunlight tends to cause the body to produce vitamin D and many people with little time outdoors suffer from low levels. Getting outside is a natural way to fix a Vitamin D deficiency.
When we get outdoors we tend to do physical activity. Walking sports, working in the yard, etc can all be great forms of exercise.
University of Essex in England found people plain feel belter after time in wild or landscaped areas. Consistent improvements were seen in self-esteem and mood.
Richard Louv made up the term “Nature-Deficit-Disorder” in his 2008 book on ADHD children. His and others work show ADHD kids have remarkable improvements after spending more time outdoors in nature. A definite improvement in concentration was observed.
Landscaping also provides many environmental paybacks. See our article Gift of Turgrass for specific benefits realized with lawns. In general, landscaping absorbs and digests pollutants, dissipates excess heat, saves energy for heating and cooling, reduces run-off, sequesters carbon, and best of all produces an abundance of oxygen.
The Gift of Landscaping just keeps on giving!