Green neighbourhoods lead to healthier babies

A recent study has yielded some interesting results. 

According to this UBC study, green neighbourhoods lead to healthier babies. 

Mothers who live in neighbourhoods with plenty of grass, trees, forested area or other types of green space are more likely to deliver babies at full term with higher birth weights. 

Researchers examined data from 64,000 births in Metro Vancouver hospitals from 1999 to 2004. They found that severe pre-term births were 20 per cent lower and moderate pre-term births were 13 per cent lower for infants whose mothers lived in greener neighbourhoods during pregnancy. 

Babies from greener neighbourhoods also weighed an average of 45 grams more at birth. 

According to Dr. Michael Brauer, professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health and the study’s senior author, “[t]his study adds to a growing body of research indicating the beneficial impacts of green space on the health of neighbourhoods.” 

Dr. Brauer adds that “[w]e know a lot about negative influences such as living closer to major roads, but demonstrating that a design choice can have benefits is really uplifting. With the high cost of health care, modifying urban design features such as increasing green space may turn out to be an extremely cost-effective strategy to prevent disease, while at the same time providing ecological benefits”.  

More green space certainly sounds good to me! In the meantime, be sure you and your family get outdoors to enjoy the spectacular regional parks!

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