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Long visits to nature linked to improved mental health, study finds


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#1 niemandgeist

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 09:47 PM

Long visits to nature linked to improved mental health.

 

Link Source: http://www.psypost.o...udy-finds-43491

 

 

People who visit parks for 30 minutes or more each week are much less likely to have high blood pressure or poor mental health than those who don’t, according to new research by Australian and UK environmental scientists.

 

A study led by The University of Queensland (UQ) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) suggests people might need a minimum “dose of nature”.

 

UQ CEED researcher Dr Danielle Shanahan said parks offered health benefits including reduced risks of developing heart disease, stress, anxiety and depression.

 

“If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week there would be seven per cent fewer cases of depression and nine percent fewer cases of high blood pressure,” she said.

 

“Given that the societal costs of depression alone in Australia are estimated at $A12.6 billion a year, savings to public health budgets across all health outcomes could be immense,” she said.

 

UQ CEED researcher Associate Professor Richard Fuller said the research could transform the way people viewed urban parks.

“We’ve known for a long time that visiting parks is good for our health, but we are now beginning to establish exactly how much time we need to spend in parks to gain these benefits,” he said.

 

“We have specific evidence that we need regular visits of at least half an hour to ensure we get these benefits.”

Dr Shanahan said 40 per cent of Brisbane residents did not visit an urban park in a typical week.

 

“So how can we encourage people to spend more time in green space?” she said.

 

“We need more support and encouragement of community activities in natural spaces.

 

“For example, the Nature Play programs in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia provide heaps of ideas for helping kids enjoy the great outdoors.

 

“Our children especially benefit from spending more time outdoors. Kids who grow up experiencing natural environments may benefit developmentally and have a heightened environmental awareness as adults than those who don’t.”

 

I think most of us have known this for a while, but it's nice that there is this study, one of many if you search online, showing that the science backs up the importance of being around nature to our mental health.

 

All it takes is 30 minutes a week apparently, so get your weekly dose of nature to be healthy and happy!

 

I'm fortunate to have so many parks near me, and I'm luckier still that there are two really nice wooded parks within walking distance for when I want to go out to a park while on mushrooms.


Edited by niemandgeist, 25 June 2016 - 09:51 PM.

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#2 Heirloom

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 10:50 PM

 I have thought that the modern world has increased mental health issues. I believe the study is correct. Being in touch with nature is good medicine.


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#3 Skywatcher

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 11:37 PM

I find it sad, there are now so many people, so out of touch with nature, existing in a construct of steel and concrete, and feeding on technology only.

Being in touch with the  Natural world is not only benificial to our mental states, but IMO a basic necessity for our well being both personally, and the well being of the world that sustains us.  


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#4 Juthro

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 01:09 PM

I believe it is true. My lake, and the surrounding wonders of nature go a long way to soothe my soul, and to keep me grounded.
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#5 rainbowsmurf

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 03:26 PM

Nature provides the Earth with everything that we need, yet we still seek to try to control it and it has resulted in many negatives on the environment and indeed on our physical, mental and emotional well being.

 

Getting back to Nature is something everyone should do, but I have to say, there are a lot of people out there that hate the country side. Working in Mental Health, I have seen it many times. Even now, in the light of studies to the contrary, some drs would have you believe that a pill or jab in the arse with something chemical is a better cure than anything the Earth can provide naturally.

 

 Give me green fields or the sea any day ... :biggrin:


Edited by rainbowsmurf, 26 June 2016 - 03:27 PM.

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#6 Alder Logs

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 03:38 PM

I don't visit town all that much.  If I have to go, it's in and out.


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#7 sillyrabbitcubiesR4us

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 09:02 PM

Great link Neim! As you said, it seems obvious to us that immersing ourselves in nature would balance our mentality a little more, but having research to prove it helps to convince those who've never agreed. Thanks for sharing!
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#8 wildedibles

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 11:02 PM

:) I was once like Alderlogs visit town sometimes
I try and walk in the woods as much as I can I know it relieves my headache :)
In the winter I dont go out as much into nature and I am deressed and have bad anxiety sun has much to do with this but so does exercize and do not forget listing to the birds, leaves blow in the wind and the bubbling brook all music we have paid to hear in some way or another to help us relax ;)......ohoh
....dont forget the wild food that you can find I bet my little tiny strawberry is more nutritious than the ones I can get in the store right now :)
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#9 Skywatcher

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 11:22 PM

Where I live, nature needs our love and help. I always bring offerings like seed for the birds when I wander. I also will stop, and clear a dead branch weighing on a good one but being sure to place it near on the ground to give back to the earth. I might move a patch of moss, dying from lack of water to a damper, shadier spot where it can thrive again. I often feel like a protector, and give freely my love, respect and care to this living entity.

 

I bring bags, and will pick up trash and carry it out.

I speak to the trees, and the denizens of the woods. I truly believe one act of kindness or care, is shared by all the trees like a network of communication. For this reason, I always feel welcomed, and sometimes they share their knowledge with me as well.


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#10 niemandgeist

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 04:43 PM

I know I wouldn't do well for too long in an environment without nature near me. I can't stand big cities for much time because of the lack of trees and other plants. I also end up missing the rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, song birds, and other birds and critters that are plentiful here at home.

 

I also have to agree that being out in a park or woods on a windy day, especially if there's a little babbling brook with tiny little waterfalls rejuvenates the spirit.

 

I've spent an awful lot of time in a little local park over the years while tripping and while sober. That park is a place I've visited since I was a child so it holds deep meaning for me and brings back lots of pleasant memories.

 

Spending some time in parks is always pleasant, but if you have a place special and close to your heart, a favorite peaceful nook of nature, that's even better.


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#11 wildedibles

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 04:46 PM

I am blessed to be walking distance to many wild places enjoyed one today with large rocks and water falls :) .....I love the teachings of wild things :)
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#12 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:10 PM

Long visits to nature linked to improved mental health.

download.jpg

(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
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#13 niemandgeist

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:18 PM

Long visits to nature linked to improved mental health.

attachicon.gifdownload.jpg

(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

 

Not everyone is so tuned to the reality of the human experience, and even with tons of scientific studies to cite, there will be those who are resistant to this way of thinking.

 

Shame, really.

 

We are the few who get it.

 

I'd love more people to "get it" but, well, that isn't simple.



#14 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:20 PM

I know Neim, but when I read the thread title this meme just popped up in my head. :)

#15 niemandgeist

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 05:25 PM

Oh, I gotchya on that OK, but I still felt like responding anyway. :biggrin:






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