Yet another study has corroborated the positive health outcomes of communing with nature.
Researchers from Australia have shown that people who made long visits to green spaces had lower rates of depression and high blood pressure, and those who visited more frequently had greater social cohesion. Higher levels of physical activity were linked to both duration and frequency of green space visits.
The results further suggested that up to a further 7% of depression cases and 9% of high blood pressure cases could be prevented if all city residents were to visit green spaces at least once a week for an average duration of 30 minutes or more.
For the first time, the researchers quantified the link between health outcomes and experiences of nature, as measured by intensity (i.e. the quality or quantity of nature itself), and the frequency and duration of a city resident’s experiences.
The participants’ experiences of nature were measured by three factors: The average frequency of visits to outdoor 'green spaces’ during a year, the average duration of visits to these spaces across a week and the intensity of nature in these spaces - measured by the amount and complexity of greenery in that space.
The researchers concluded that higher levels of physical activity were linked to both duration and frequency of visits to green spaces.
The study is published online June 23, 2016 in the journal Scientific Reports