New research shows there are significant benefits to time spent in nature, even if you are just soaking it up. A study involving interviews with 20,000 people in the UK was published in the journal Scientific Reports last week shows just two hours a week in nature can have a hugely positive impact on one’s health and wellbeing.
The study found that of those respondents who spent little or no time outdoors in a natural environment, a quarter reported poor health and almost half said they were not satisfied with their life, a standard measure of wellbeing. In contrast, amongst those who spent at least two hours in nature each week just one-seventh said their health was poor, while a third were not satisfied with their life.
Another key learning of the study was that the how and where people spent their time in nature made very little difference to the results. There was no statistical difference whether the two hours in nature were taken in one go or broken up into shorter visits, or whether people went to an on a hike in the woodlands or a stroll in their local park.
“It’s fascinating to see this link between exposure to nature and better health and wellbeing,” Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, told The Guardian.
“This research makes a strong case for people to get out and about in more natural environments.”
- Keen to hear more about the many benefits of trees in our cities? Stay tuned for our National Tree Day research report, which will dig deeper into urban greening and its positive effects on the urban environment.
- Join in the urban greening movement by planting a native tree as part of National Tree Day 2019.
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