Nature Prescription: Scientific Analysis Confirms its Positive Impact on Health
Have you ever felt rejuvenated after spending a day in the mountains or a weekend at the beach? Well, there is a scientific reason behind it. Nature has always been known to have a calming and restorative effect on us. The Japanese call it ‘Shinrin-yoku’ or forest bathing, the Germans call it ‘Waldeinsamkeit,’ and the Scandinavians have a term ‘friluftsliv,’ which means open-air living. But now, science has caught up to this centuries-old wisdom and has confirmed that nature does have amazing healing powers.
What is Nature Prescription?
Nature prescription is a fairly new concept where healthcare professionals prescribe nature as a means of improving mental and physical well-being. It is a simple yet powerful tool where nature is used as a medicine that is readily available, has no side-effects, and is free of cost.
A recent study in Scotland found that GP’s prescription of nature walks to their patients resulted in a reduction of depression by 41% and improvement in overall mood and self-esteem.
The Benefits of Nature on Health
We all know that nature has a calming effect on our minds, but did you know that it also has a positive effect on our physiological functions? Studies have found that nature can reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.
Moreover, spending time in nature can also benefit children with ADHD, adults with anxiety disorders, and even cancer patients. Parkinson’s patients who spent time in gardens reportedly had a reduction in tremors, while children with ADHD who spent time outside showed an improvement in their symptoms.
How Much Nature Do We Need?
The recommended minimum time that one should spend in nature is two hours each week. However, a study conducted in 2019 found that spending more time in nature had a positive correlation to the reduction of depression and anxiety. The study recommends a minimum of 120 minutes in nature per week, but suggests that longer periods could potentially have even greater benefits.
In conclusion, nature truly is medicine. It has remarkable benefits that can help improve our mental and physical well-being. With a rise in mental health issues, it’s time to recognize the importance of nature in our lives and make it a part of our daily routine. So, the next time you feel a little down or stressed, take a walk in the park, go for a hike in the mountains or spend a day by the beach. Your body and mind will thank you.
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Summary: Nature prescription is a concept where healthcare professionals prescribe nature as a means of improving mental and physical well-being. Studies have found that nature can reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. A minimum of 120 minutes in nature per week is recommended for maximum benefits. Nature truly is medicine and has remarkable benefits that can help improve our mental and physical well-being. #HEALTH