Lining city streets with trees reduces physiological symptoms of stress in humans. The thicker the tree cover, the lower the stress levels, study finds. We all know that a walk in nature can help slow the maddening pace of modern life and bring us back into the moment, but a recent study tells us just how many trees are necessary to keep us calm. Researchers put people in stressful situations and then showed them 3-D videos of various “city”scapes, each with different densities of tree cover. The thicker the tree-cover, the lower the subjects’ stress levels dropped. The researchers, from the University of Illinois and the University of Hong Kong, subjected 160 participants to various stressful scenarios, including having them prepare to deliver a speech, or perform a math test, in front of judges and cameras. Once the participants were fully stressed out, they viewed one of 10 six-minute videos of city streets that changed only in the amount of tree coverage, ranging from 0 to 70 percent. Which image makes you feel more relaxed? What they found was the higher the density of trees, the lower the levels of stress the subjects reported. Inversely, the lower the density […]

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