Does Where You Live Impact Your Health?

With such variation in climate and altitude across our planet, it is interesting to see how these variations can impact our overall health and wellbeing. To find out more about how where you live can impact your health, check out the video below!

References:

Ezzati M, Horwitz MEM, Thomas DSK, et alAltitude, life expectancy and mortality from ischaemic heart disease, stroke, COPD and cancers: national population-based analysis of US countiesJ Epidemiol Community Health 2012;66:e17.

Khan, A. A., Banwell, P. E., Bakker, M. C., Gillespie, P. G., McGrouther, D. A., & Roberts, A. H. (2004). Topical radiant heating in wound healing: an experimental study in a donor site wound model*. International wound journal, 1(4), 233–240. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4801.2004.00065.x

Huber, R. S., Kim, T.-S., Kim, N., Kuykendall, M. D., Sherwood, S. N., Renshaw, P. F., & Kondo, D. G. (2018). Association Between Altitude and Regional Variation of ADHD in Youth. Journal of Attention Disorders, 22(14), 1299–1306. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054715577137

https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-climate-for-arthritis-5094272

The Beauty of Birdwatching

Photo of a Blue Jay Taken by Dr. Robert Kanter

If you were to look outside your window right now, what is the first wild animal you would see? Whether your backyard is a lush forest, a concrete balcony, or somewhere between, your wildlife sightseeing will vary. However, regardless of your location, there is one animal group that you are likely to see within mere seconds of looking outside – birds. Birds are one of the most diverse and abundant species taxa on Earth. In addition to being leisurely to spot, birds provide our senses with rare instances of natural color and song. Bird-watching is a readily available activity that can bring us closer to nature and provide us with fascinating natural phenomena to witness.

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Space and Nature

Why space can be considered nature

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of nature is “the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people” (Nature, n.d.). So why shouldn’t space be considered nature as well? Nature is about connectedness– to the Earth, other people, and yourself. Looking at the stars (and even some planets) outdoors reminds us how interconnected all of us are. No matter where you are in the world, you can look up at night and search for stars. When I look up at the stars, I am reminded of how amazing it is to live in this time and how many things had to come together and fall apart in order for me to be here. So next time you look at space, remind yourself and be grateful for how much beauty you get to experience on Earth. If you’re looking to go stargazing in Illinois or learn more about the moon, there is a list of places and a worksheet to complete below!

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Improving Access to Nature for People With Disabilities

How can we make nature more accessible for people with disabilities?

Those who spend lots of time in nature on hiking trails and visiting local/state/national parks know how helpful it can be to have well-maintained trails and proper signage. Many parks don’t take this into consideration and what most don’t realize is how inaccessible these nature spots become, especially for people living with with disabilities. Having access to nature is beneficial to people of all ages, races, income groups, and abilities. Living with a disability can impact all different types of people at any age, so how can we make nature more accessible to these people?

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