Why is spending time in nature important?


Spending time in nature is crucial for various aspects of mental health, physical health, and performance. highlights several benefits:

  • Reduced Blood Pressure and Heart Rate: Studies show that spending 10-30 minutes outdoors 3-7 days per week lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate, improving overall cardiovascular health 1.
  • Improved Sleep and Mood: Regular time outside in natural environments like parks, forests, and by streams can significantly enhance sleep quality and elevate mood 1.
  • Forest Bathing: In Japan, 'forest bathing' demonstrated that spending time in forest-like environments can enhance mental and physical health 2.
  • Combating Myopia: Outdoor activities help offset the development of nearsightedness (myopia) by promoting the health of the eye's focusing mechanism 3.

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  • Unstructured Play: Unstructured playtime in the outdoors teaches kids negotiation, conflict resolution, and collaboration skills, which are important for their mental health and development 4.

Additionally, witnessing the unpredictability and beauty of wildlife, being near moving bodies of water, and experiencing the different elements nature offers can lead to delightful and memorable moments. However, isolating specific variables that contribute to the health benefits of nature is complex, and many aspects remain intangible and not fully understood by science 1. Despite this, getting outside as often as possible is universally agreed upon as beneficial for health and well-being 5.