(NaturalPath) According to a study aggregated by Natural Medicine Journal, nature walks boost mental health.
The study was comprised of 38 individuals with a mean age of 26.6 years old in Palo Alto, California who were divided up into two groups that would walk 5.3 km. One group would take a grassland-and-oak nature park, while the other would take a busy urban street route. They were given GPS on a smartphone and told to take pictures.
Immediately before and after the walk, participants completed a psychometric and biomarker assessment of their experience. Heart and respiration rates were taken during neuroimaging to account for any individual differences in physiological response to talking; no between-group physiological differences were detected before or after the walks.
The results were that both the psychometric and biomarker measurements were significantly decreased in the nature walk group, but were unchanged in the urban-walk group. Additionally, contact with nature also increases positive mental health experiences. Spending time in nature can improve a patient’s sense of vitality, life satisfaction, and subjective well-being.
For more information, read the full study.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.