A study said that by 2050, almost 70 per cent of the world population is expected to be living in cities, which means more people would be exposed to all kinds of pollution in urban areas and more lives at risk. Following the findings, researchers have underlined the importance of where we build our homes and choose our habitats.
As much as voicing against pollution and all that health advisory amid the talks of toxic air in Delhi and its surrounding areas is important, proper urban planning also is important. The air pollution not only affects heart and other health problems, but also causes brain and stress-related, depression and anxiety disorders.
Hence, in the wake of the critical pollution situation in the city, where we build our homes and choose our habitats becomes relevant.
The study pointed that people who live in the lap of nature may have a healthier brain and may be at lower risk of developing stress-related depression and anxiety disorders than those living in urban areas.
Owing to all the water and air pollution, city dwellers are at a serious risk of depression, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia than those living in rural areas, the findings showed. The pollution in the city is increasing the risk of chronic stress, they stated in the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
According to the study, people living in cities showed higher activity levels of amygdala — a central nucleus in the brain that plays a vital role in stress processing and reactions to danger.
However, people llving in the countryside, near the forest showed physiologically healthy amygdala structure, which is an indication of better ability to cope with stress compared to those living the urban green, water or wasteland.
“Research on brain plasticity supports the assumption that the environment can shape brain structure and function… Studies of people in the countryside have already shown that living close to nature is good for their mental health and well-being. We therefore decided to examine city dwellers,” said lead author Simone Kuhn, psychologist at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) Hospital in Germany.