Try A Weekly Dose Of Nature To Boost Mental And Physical Health

I write about science, technology and the cultural ripples of both.

Here’s a prescription for physical and mental health benefits that just about anyone can do: Find the time to sit in a park, or a similarly scenic spot, for at least 30 minutes a week and do exactly that. Just sit and take it in, no smartphone, tablet or laptop required.

That small amount of weekly greenspace time can reduce your chances of developing depression and high blood pressure, according to findings of a recent study involving 1,538 people living in Brisbane, Australia.

“Specifically, our results suggest 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,” the researchers report in the study.

What’s interesting about this research isn’t so much the results (similar nature-influenced benefits have been found in previous studies), but the dosing aspect. The researchers narrowed down a fairly specific window of outside time to get the benefits.

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