New research says nature is key to good health

New research says nature is key to good health

Do you get out in nature enough? According to a large new research study, people who get out in the green feel better than those who stay indoors.

Being in nature is associated with good health and well-being, according to a new British study. People who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and well-being than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week. The data for the current research came from Natural England's - Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey (MENE), the world's largest study collecting data on how people in the UK use the natural environment.

The more the better!

No health benefits were seen in people who visited natural environments for less than 120 minutes a week. This means that the more we get out in nature the better our well-being and health! Areas investigated included parks, forests, beaches and other natural areas.

The study used data from almost 20,000 people in England and found it did not matter if those 120 minutes were achieved during a single visit or over several shorter visits. It also found that the 120-minute threshold applied to both men and women, older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and also among people with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

According to this study, there are clear signs that living alone in a greener area can be good for health. It also shows there are many other reasons to spend time in nature, such as creating space to gain perspective in life and give yourself time for reflection. Nature was also described as a stress reducer and a place for recovery and quality time.

References:

1. White, M., Alcock, I., Greillier, J., Wheeler, B., Hartig, T., Warber, S., Bone, A., Depledge, M & Fleming, L. (2019) Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing.

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