2 Hours In The Nature

Is new weekly healthy minimum

Woman meditating in nature

Woman meditating in nature

Maybe we’ve paved too many roads and parking lots for our convenience. Behavioral researchers from the University of Exeter tell in Scientific Reports that spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for being healthy.

The large-scale study of some 20,000 people in England found people of all ages and income levels spending at least two hours weekly in nature were more likely to report good health and higher psychological functioning than those who didn’t visit nature at all during an average week.

The two hour minimum could be achieved over several visits, too.

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“It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people's health and well being but until now we've not been able to say how much is enough,” says Dr Mat White, of the University of Exeter Medical School. “The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing. Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.”

“There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and well being, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family,” said study co-author Professor Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden.

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The data for the current research came from Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey, the world’s largest study collecting data on people’s weekly contact with the natural world.

Reference Mathew P. White, Ian Alcock, James Grellier, Benedict W. Wheeler, Terry Hartig, Sara L. Warber, Angie Bone, Michael H. Depledge, Lora E. Fleming. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3
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