Adding Trees - A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment
Author: Hasmukh Chand
We are increasingly turning towards technology to make our lives easier. We are continuously bombarded with information to the point where we cannot distinguish between work-life and home-life. Getting the balance right becomes difficult. The connections we used to make with our familiy, friends and neighbours are now increasingly becoming virtual.
In fact, Planet Ark's latest research sponsored by Toyota Australia; Adding Trees - A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment, has found that 51% of Australians turn to social media as a form of stress management. Ironically, social media can majke us feel stressed, depressed and even isolated from eveyone.
Associate Professor Tonia Gray, a specialist in Pedagogy and Learning at Western Sydney University, says our nature-estranged lifestyle can be directly related to our over-reliance on screen time over green time. "Yet we now recognise the importance nature connectedness as a determinant of health and wellbeing".
National Tree Day Manager, Debbie Agnew says that the latest Planet Ark research shows that a "prescription" for adding nature into our lives can help enhance many aspects of our lives. Overcoming these technological challenges is simple.
"In this digital age, Planet Ark is encouraging everyone to take 10 minutes outside and connect with nature. Participating in a National Tree Day activity in your community, workplace, schools or backyard is a great way to reconnect" Debbie says.
The research revealed that 86% of Australians who have a close connection to nature are significantly more likely to consider themselves happy in life overall. When we spend time in nature, our brain produces more dopamine, a chemical reward that induces positive feelings such as self-worth, calmness and relaxation.
Simply stopping to smell the flowers can reduce out chances of developing a range of diseases. According to the latest research, time in nature can reduce diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and depression by 43%, 37% and 25% respectively.
Teenagers and young children gain the greatest benefits of spending time connected with nature. Over the past few years, research by Planet Ark has shown improvements in academic performance in students who participated in outdoor learning programs. This is once again confirmed by the latest research.
It seems like even ten minutes a day in nature will significant benefits to our health and wellbeing. Here are a few ways you can start to maximise your daily dose of nature induced happiness, wellbeing and connect with your family, friends and neighbours at the same time.
- Find an event near you and participate in National Tree Day
- Watch and share our research video with your family and friends
- Read our latest research Adding Trees - A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fufilment
Hasmukh joined Planet Ark to support the National Tree Day campaign in 2016. He has a wealth of experience working with other great environmental organisations, as well as a degree in environmental science. Hasmukh also volunteers with the SES and continues to support other environment groups as a volunteer.
- What's so special about Naturale? »
The products we choose to endorse have been put through their (environmental) paces to help you make positive choices in... More »
- Draft NSW Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Strategy 2017-2021 »
With the population of NSW expected to grow to over 8.2 million by 2021, the state will need to process nearly 20 millio... More »
- Celebrating more than 10 years being Carbon Neutral »
Businesses have the opportunity to set themselves apart by showing true leadership in sustainability. Printing and marke... More »
- Fight waste and get a bargain at the Big Aussie Swap »
Planet Ark is calling on Australians to join the War on Waste and take part in the Big Aussie Swap during National Recyc... More »
- Take the Schools Recycle Right Challenge »
Starting in October - the Schools Recycle Right Challenge is a 6 week build up to National Recycling Week.... More »
- Sunshine Coast sisters launch Australian-first sustainability project »
Two sisters from the Sunshine Coast have launched an Australian-first project helping small businesses adopt the princip... More »
- What do Smiths, Kathmandu and Jurlique have in common? »
The Australian Packaging Covenant was formed by industry to strive for environmentally responsible packaging. The recent... More »
- Keep on recycling »
The waste and recycling industry has been under the spotlight recently causing Australians to ask "Should we keep recycl... More »
- 10 waste reducing tips from the Planet Ark staff »
Here's what the Planet Ark staff do to reduce their waste throughout the week (feel free to copy us!)... More »
- International House Sydney wins two major international design awards »
Australia's first engineered timber commercial building has won the prestigious Athenaeum and European Centre for Design... More »
- Australians celebrate 22 years of National Tree Day »
Green thumbs were out in force to help celebrate Planet Ark's 22nd National Tree Day, planting to support the natural en... More »
- Going plastic free: what does it take? »
What does it take to go plastic free, even for a month, and what are some of the issues to consider? One of our staff me... More »
- Free child car seat recycling trial »
A new child car safety seat recovery trial program has been set up in a number of location across Queensland, NSW and Vi... More »
- National Tree Day is this weekend! »
This year Planet Ark celebrates 22 years of National Tree Day by asking, what does nature mean to you?... More »
- The Positive Results of the War on Waste »
The ABC's War on Waste has taken the discussion about Australia's waste problems to new heights. And there are, already,... More »