Going Outside Is Even Healthier Than We Thought

We all know that nature is good for us. It feels simply wonderful to just stand outside, surrounded by green leaves, fresh grass, golden dandelions, and the chirping of little birds. But you may not actually realize how powerful spending time out in nature can be. In fact, there is actually a scientific reason why spending time immersed in green feels so good—it’s incredibly healing.

Recent research has just confirmed what the forest-bathing Japanese have known for millennia—spending time immersed in nature can profoundly improve overall health. According to extensive data collected by researchers from the University of East Anglia, “living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits.”

Exposure to greenspace, be it an urban park or a rugged trail, had powerful health impacts. It was shown to reduce type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress, high blood pressure and more. It even improved sleep quality and duration. And this wasn’t just shown across a few hundred people. The evidence spanned 140 studies over 20 countries and involved over 290 million people.

The jury is in—humans are healthier when they’re closer to nature.

young couple biking down dirt road

And it’s not just vast swaths of deep wilderness that boast benefits. Even tree-lined streets in urban areas promote better health. According to additional research from the University of British Columbia, even just looking at natural things—like trees, rivers, birds, or even houseplants—significantly improved the feelings of physical and emotional wellbeing among viewers.

According to one researcher, “This wasn’t about spending hours outdoors or going for long walks in the wilderness. This is about the tree at a bus stop in the middle of a city and the positive effect that one tree can have on people.”        

Needless to say, it’s clearly pretty important to maintain your innate connection with nature, even if you live in an urban area. Our natural places not only support wildlife, the environment, or our planet’s aesthetics, but they support human health on the whole. Yet we are at risk of losing our most precious natural lands now more than ever. Whether you like it or not, we all need and deserve nature in our lives. And your wellbeing will undeniably improve as a result.

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75 comments

Elizabeth M
Past Member 22 days ago

many thanks

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Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

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Elisabeth T
Elisabeth T2 months ago

Our world is so beautiful, hopefully we can keep it that way. There's nothing like the great outdoors! Thanks for the good article.

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hELEN h
hELEN h2 months ago

Tyfs

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Daniel N
Daniel N2 months ago

Thank you

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Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Marija M
Marija M2 months ago

I know that, tks for sharing.

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Aldana W
Aldana W2 months ago

thanks

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thank you for the info

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thank you for the info

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