What is the importance of spending time in nature?


Spending time in nature has several scientifically supported benefits for both mental and physical health 1. Research demonstrates significant reductions in blood pressure, resting heart rate, and improvements in sleep and mood when individuals spend time in nature ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, three to seven days per week 2. These benefits stem from various elements, such as sunlight, which is crucial for setting the circadian rhythm early in the day, and other aspects of natural environments that are not as easily measurable or understood in scientific terms, like the overall experience and surprise elements of being outdoors 3.

Benefits of Nature

Discover the scientifically-supported benefits of immersing yourself in nature, including the role of sunlight in setting your circadian rhythm and the practice of grounding. Andrew Huberman shares valuable insights on the importance of getting outdoors and connecting with the natural world.

Huberman Lab

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The exposure to sunlight, calming sounds, observing wildlife, green colors, and the complex interconnectedness of various natural variables create an experience that contributes to overall wellbeing 4. The 'gestalt' of nature, meaning the whole experience put together, is thought to be valuable beyond what isolated scientific variables can measure.

Moreover, nature's impacts can extend beyond immediate experiences. People have reported benefits from being near moving bodies of water, potentially due to negative ionization, although this is less certain 3. Even the act of observing and delighting in wildlife can leave a memorable impression that contributes positively to someone's mood and overall sense of well-being.

Additionally, integrating deliberate exposure to natural stressors like cold and heat has been found to lower inflammation in the body, which has implications for preventing lifestyle diseases and mental illnesses 5.

Overall, getting outside into nature appears to be a reliable way to enhance various aspects of health and performance, and it is encouraged to engage in nature as often and safely as one can 4.