Turns Out Spending Time Outdoors is Better than Living in the Cities - P.O.W. Report

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Turns Out Spending Time Outdoors is Better than Living in the Cities

Greenwhich Times:

It’s been established that people who spend more time in parks and other natural settings tend to report higher levels of health and happiness, but new research shows there’s actually a magic number for it.

According to a study published this week in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, spending 120 minutes a week strolling a tree-lined street or sitting by a lake can greatly enhance a person’s overall sense of well-being. Less time didn’t yield any significant benefit, the research showed.

Those who got in two to three hours in nature were about 20% more likely to report high overall satisfaction with their lives than those who spent no time outdoors at all. The benefits to physical health were even greater, with those who met the outdoors benchmark being 60% more likely to report being in good health than their cooped-in counterparts.

The figures were adjusted for a number of characteristics known to influence health and happiness, including socioeconomic factors, neighborhood characteristics and general demographics. [...]

Overall, they found, two hours or more of nature exposure had a significant impact: Its positive effect on an individual’s health and well-being was comparable to getting recommended amounts of exercise or of living in a high socioeconomic status area versus a low-status one.

They stress, however, that the effect is not necessarily a causal one. Though researchers controlled for a wide range of variables known to affect health and happiness, the study’s design didn’t allow them to completely rule out other factors that could result in higher health and happiness for nature lovers.

Living in Alaska we take for granted the beauty of nature that is around us--it's also one reason why we are so nice and easily taken advantage of--simply because we are in harmony with nature. Meanwhile, when you are in a city it's disgusting, it's loud, it's dirty and there are human being everywhere peddling for money or making you uncomfortable if you're a lady. And yet, the amazing part is how quickly we get acclimated to the horrors of the big city to the point that you don't realize how absolutely insane it is to live in a city. Of course, as soon as we leave do we realize what we have been missing.

However, the authors note that other studies have demonstrated the benefits of being outside even in the absence of physical activity. Research in Japan, for instance, found that simply sitting passively in a natural environment can confer benefits to physical and mental health. Other research has shown that exercising outdoors provides a boost to mental health above and beyond what you'd get from doing the same exercise inside.

Again, you can't natural environments in a city, even New York City's Central Park isn't natural. There are concrete paths everywhere, 10,000 people milling around and the constant sound of jet planes and cars echoing from the trees.

Remember the paradise we live in and don't take it for granted--get out and enjoy it!

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