How much time do you spend outside enjoying nature? Do you…
Sit and listen to the birds sing, feeling the sun and wind on your face?
Feel the grass or sand beneath your feet?
Walk along the coast breathing in the fresh, salty air?
Walk in the dappled shade of a wood, or along a local ridge, looking at the amazing views?
There is a growing body of evidence that indicates connecting with natural environments is linked to better health and wellbeing. This includes lower possibilities of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, mental distress, and increased feelings of wellbeing. In children it can lower the risk of obesity and improve cognitive development.
How much time makes a difference to your wellbeing?
A study published in June 2019, indicates that 2 hours or 120 minutes a week should do the trick.
The finding is based on interviews with 20,000 people in England about their activity in the previous week. Of those who spent little or no time in nature, a quarter reported poor health. Almost half said they were not satisfied with their life, which is a standard measure of wellbeing. In contrast, just one-seventh of those who spent at least two hours in nature said their health was poor. A third of participants spending time in nature were not satisfied with their life.
The benefits of a two-hour dose were the same for both young and old, wealthy and poor, and urban and rural people.
The researchers were also surprised that it did not matter whether the two hours in nature were taken in one go or in a series of shorter visits. Equally, it didn’t matter whether people went to an urban park, woodlands or the beach.
Another surprise was that they could not completely take account of whether the health boost was down to taking more exercise. The researchers wrote: “Research into shinrin-yoku – Japanese ‘forest bathing’ – for instance, suggested that various psychophysiological benefits can be gained from merely sitting passively in natural versus urban settings.”
Do you have any aches or pains that are stopping you getting out into nature?
Are you worried about your strength and balance when walking?
Maybe you have difficulty getting in and out of transportation to a nature spot?
If your answer is “yes” please do give us a call.
Otherwise – what are you waiting for? 🙂
This article was written by Karen Robinson, formerly a Registered Osteopath.