Two hours a week is key dose of nature for health and wellbeing

Research study led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and moneyed by NIHR, discovered that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are substantially most likely to report good health and greater mental wellbeing than those who don’t visit nature at all during an average week. Nevertheless, no such advantages were found for individuals who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, nation parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

The research study used information from almost 20,000 individuals in England and discovered that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was accomplished in a single go to or over several much shorter sees. It also found the 120-minute threshold used to both males and females, to older and younger grownups, throughout different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even amongst individuals with long term diseases or disabilities.

Dr Mat White, of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, said: “It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for individuals’s health and wellbeing but previously we’ve not been able to state just how much suffices. The majority of nature visits in this research occurred within simply two miles of home so even checking out regional city greenspaces seems to be an advantage. Two hours a week is hopefully a practical target for many individuals, particularly considered that it can be topped a whole week to get the benefit.”

There is growing evidence that simply residing in a greener neighbourhood can be good for health, for instance by decreasing air pollution. The data for the existing research came from Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey, the world’s largest research study collecting information on people’s weekly contact with the natural world.

Co-author of the research, Professor Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden said: “There are lots of reasons why hanging out in nature might benefit health and health and wellbeing, consisting of getting perspective on life scenarios, minimizing stress, and taking pleasure in quality time with family and friends. The existing findings provide valuable support to health professionals in making recommendations about hanging out in nature to promote basic health and wellness, comparable to standards for weekly physical”.

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