The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently published an article pointing to the benefits of getting out in nature, citing my favorite subject of Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing), and some new data points from Stanford University and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
Some interesting insights:
- Spending time in the woods is strongly linked to lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones and decreased anxiety, depression and fatigue. It also increases the presence of cancer-fighting cells.
- Time in a forest is linked to decreased inflammation, which has been implicated in chronic disease.
- Spending 120+ minutes/week in nature increases a sense of good health and well-being, with peak feelings kicking in at 200-300 minutes per week.
- You don't have to get deep in the backcountry - A 45-minute walk in nature can make a world of difference to mood, creativity, the ability to use your working memory.