Spending at least two hours a week in the wild would be the threshold to maintaining one’s health and well-being, say scientists after analyzing data from a survey of 20,000 Britons.
According to Dr. Mat White and colleagues from the University of Exeter School of Medicine, people who spend at least 120 minutes a week in the wild are much more likely to report that they are in good physical and psychological health than those who who don’t spend time outside.
It is well known that going outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and well-being, but so far we have not been able to say how much is enough.
Dr. Mat White
These natural environments include, among others, forests, rural and urban parks and beaches.
Dr. White’s team has found that the benefits are observable, whether the 120 minutes are reached in one visit or in several shorter visits.
Spending two hours a week is a realistic goal for many people, especially since they can be spread out
an entire week to benefit.
Dr. Mat White
This team found no benefit for those who visit these settings less than 120 minutes per week.
The positive effects were observed for both men and women, for older and younger adults, for different social and ethnic groups, and for those living in rich and poor regions, and even for those who suffer from illnesses or diseases. long-term disability.
“The majority of the natural sites included in this work are within a three-kilometer radius of the participants’ homes, so even visiting nearby urban green spaces seems like a good thing,” says Dr. White.
Spending time in nature can provide a perspective on life events, reduce stress and spend quality time with friends and family.
Terry Hartig of Uppsala University
According to the authors of this work published in the journal Scientific Reports, this new knowledge could lead health professionals to recommend more to their patients to spend time in the wild for their well-being.