Spending time outdoors, whether as a child or adult, has a number of health benefits. People who get outside to enjoy nature more than others will benefit both physically and mentally. Here are just a few potential benefits based on many studies conducted.
#1: Being outdoors can improve mental health. A 2015 study done by Stanford found that those who went outdoors and enjoyed nature experienced less anxiety and positive emotions.
#2: Being outdoors may lead to more physical activity. It is more likely that an individual who gets outdoors will partake in physical activity, such as walking. Even planting a flower is considered physical activity.
#3: Being outdoors may improve academic performance in children. According to a Finnish study, children who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity outdoors were more likely to excel in academics.
#4: Being outdoors may lower stress levels. Those who feel stressed out should head outdoors and find the nearest tree. Studies show that being in nature can decrease heart rate and cortisol levels.
#5: Being outdoors may improve short-term memory. The University of Michigan studied students in a memory test. First, they took a test. After dividing into two groups, one walking around an arboretum while the others walked through the city, the study found that those who walked through nature did 20% better on the re-take of the test. The city-walkers did not improve.
#6: Being outdoors may improve vision. Lack of sunlight can cause myopia in children, a vision defect on the rise. Researchers recommend at least 2 to 3 hours of sunlight to help reduce the chances of this issue.
#7: Being outdoors may reduce inflammation. A China study found that students who spent time in a forest had lower levels of inflammation than students who spent time in the city. It was concluded that human health could benefit from spending time in the forest, due to possible effects related to pathological factors.
Individuals who have the time to get out of the house or workplace should take full advantage. Based on the above facts and studies, it is clear that walking among the trees and being a part of nature has a positive impact on both physical and mental health. Being outdoors is all-around great from a health and wellness standpoint.