How many minutes per week do you spend in nature?
If you’re clocking in at less than 120 minutes per week, you may want to get your numbers up.
Beyond the aesthetic beauty, studies continue to add to the already formidable body of evidence linking immersion in nature to a myriad of health benefits.
A 2019 study of roughly 20,000 people found that participants who spent 120 minutes or more per week in natural environments were significantly more likely to report good health or high well-being. The time could be all at once, or spread out over the course of the week. And the results were consistent across many groups, including older adults and participants with long-term health issues.
This builds on numerous studies showing nature’s healing properties. Among the findings are links between time in nature and lower blood pressure, lower stress hormone levels, reduced anxiety, and an enhanced ability to fight tumors and infections.
The list grows as we consider the mental benefits of spending time in nature. Studies have found that time in green spaces improves mood, reduces feelings of isolation, and increases feelings of calmness.
It is with this research in mind that we support initiatives by local government, non-profit organizations, and dedicated citizens to connect communities to the natural world. There is a range of natural spaces available in the United States, but it is imperative that we build the infrastructure to allow citizens to reach them. We’ll check out some of these efforts in future articles.
For now, we encourage you to kindle joy and good health by immersing yourself in nature’s splendor.