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Better health comes with two hours a week outdoors, the research finds



If you're looking for simple steps for a healthier mind and body, consider taking these steps outdoors. New research finds that people who spend at least two hours a week in a natural environment – such as parks, beaches, woodlands or urban green areas – are more likely to have better physical health and mental well-being than those who do not wake up Outdoor.

The results, which included 59 percent improved odds for overall good health and 23 percent better odds for psychological well-being – were based on data from a representative representative sample of 1

9,806 British adults, published in the journal Scientific Reports. Age, gender, ethnicity, employment and income made no difference, the research shown, and the positive effect was consistent for those with and without chronic illness or disability. It also did not matter whether people spent time in a natural environment during a two-hour visit or in several short exposures.

Over the years, researchers and health experts have attributed a wide range of benefits to human exposure to green areas, including stress reduction, lower blood pressure, better sleep and reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. The current study's authors expressed the hope that their results could inspire health guidelines that require 120 minutes a week of natural exposure, similar to the physical activity guidelines issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services, which require 150 minutes a week with moderate physical activity.

Linda Searing


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