Get a virtual dose of nature from home - National Tree Day Blog

Get a virtual dose of nature from home

Escape your home office with new window swapping website that allows you to travel from Egypt to San Francisco.

For many of us, being stuck at home is the new normal. The good news is there are plenty of ways to improve your well-being by connecting with nature without leaving the house.

Recent research we conducted for National Tree Day shows just 10 minutes relaxing outside is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure. We also know that nature induces positive feelings through physiological mechanisms, including activating the brain’s dopamine reward system. But can we get similar benefits from simply taking in a view of nature?

The answer is yes, according to research which suggests that a room with a view of nature supports cognitive restoration better than a view of concrete.

A study that looked at people living in an apartment blocks supports the premise that having natural elements in the view from a window contributes substantially to residents’ satisfaction and sense of well-being.

For those of us who don’t live with a view overlooking the ocean or fields of green, you can now travel the world with Window Swap — a website that allows you to open a window anywhere in the world. Peak through windows into a green patio in Egypt, watch a cat observe the street from an apartment in San Francisco, listen to classical music in Turkey or relax to the sound of rain in Germany.

The word ‘sonder’ has been cited as "the feeling you get when realising everyone around you has a rich and complex life just as you do”, Window Swap offers an opportunity to take a look at the views of people around the world.

Taking the time to notice nature and the small things, whether it be gazing out your window or seeing a new leaf sprout on your plant, can help us through stressful times.

Isolation has highlighted just how much we rely on nature and having access to it. Window Swap is not as good as the real thing but it’s a creative way to escape your home office, even just for a minute.

Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

Jennifer McMillan

Jen worked as a vet nurse while studying environmental science and completing her master's degree in Journalism. She loves bushwalking, storytelling, caring for baby animals, Australian birds and river red gums. Jen works on the National Tree Day campaign and Planet Ark's Seedling Bank.