The benefits of spending time in nature

scenic photo of forest with sunlight
Photo by Jacob Colvin on

When most people think of spending time in nature, they imagine hiking through forests, walking along beaches, or picnicking in parks. However, there are many science-backed benefits to spending time in nature that go beyond just enjoying the scenery.

One of the most well-known benefits of spending time in nature is that it can help reduce stress and improve moods. A study by the University of Essex found that just five minutes of walking in nature can significantly lower stress levels. And, a separate study from Stanford University found that people who took a 90-minute walk in a natural area had lower levels of rumination, which is when people focus on negative events from the past or worry about the future.

In addition to reducing stress levels, spending time in nature can also help improve mental well-being. One study found that two hours of time spent in nature per week can help improve self-esteem and reduce depression and anxiety.

But the benefits of spending time in nature don’t stop there. Studies have also found that time in nature can help improve physical health. For example, one study found that employees who had access to views of nature at work had lower levels of sick leave than employees who didn’t have access to nature views.

So, what’s the secret behind all of these benefits? According to some experts, it’s because spending time in nature helps us reconnect with the natural world. And, this connection can help reduce stress, improve mental well-being, and even boost physical health.

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