Two hours in nature each week to get better

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Man thrives thanks to the resources of nature, but it is also dependent on them and must therefore avoid intensive use of them. Xavier Le Roux, director of the Foundation for Research in Biodiversity (FRB), describes in this interview the complex relationships between man and nature.

Two hours of nature a week. This may soon be on the prescription that your doctor has prescribed. This is already the case in Canada. Because nature has the incredible power to make us good! And some Drexel University researchers (USA) confirms once again today. According to them, humans in relation to nature have one broom healthier and “greener” – meaning made with more fruit and vegetables – than others.

The researchers point out that their results highlight light how a restored relationship with nature could bring people back to a more balanced diet. They therefore recommend integrating more green areas for urban landscapes. But also to bring nature into the classroom. And even, to start prescribing excursions to the big ones air – or at least in parks.

Food and mental health

But they also recognize that things can turn out to be more complex than that. That benefits from nature could also depend on culture, history and social and economic factors connecting communities with nature on the one hand and food on the other.

Meanwhile, other researchers have from Boston University School of Public Health (USA), provides new evidence that the presence of green spaces in residential areas improves cognitive functions. That speed information processing and attention. Green also limits the risk of depression. Everything thus improves Mental health populations. Also when they start to age. So what are we still waiting for to turn green forever?

Ten minutes in nature to reduce student stress

subject to strong pressure through their college studies, young students swing between stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression. A meta-analysis has shown the benefits of the natural environment on stress in young people aged 15 to 30, whether it is a forest, flower pots on a balcony or a public garden. She was even able to quantify the effective “dose” of treatment.

Futura article with AFP-Relaxnews published on 28/02/2020

U.S. researchers have shown that just ten minutes in nature can relieve the stress and anxiety that young people aged 15 to 30 feel. To this new research has a team from Cornell University reviewed 14 previous studies that looked at the effects of time spent in nature on students aged 15 to 30 years. These studies had been conducted in Japan, Sweden, and the United States. They had recorded “treatment times” (number of hours and minutes spent in nature) and changes in welfare and mental health before and after these outdoor sessions. They also assessed the participants’ mental well-being based on time spent in urban environment or natural.

Their results, reported in the review Limits in psychologyshowed that spending between 10 and 50 minutes in a natural environment seemed to help improve mood, concentration from student and physiological markers of stress such as blood pressure and heart rate. ” The benefits do not take long to get in – we are talking about 10 minutes spent in a natural spacecommented author Gen Meredith. We are convinced that every student, regardless of specialty or workload, has one duration at his disposal every day, or at least a few times a week. »

A positive effect of ten minutes

Regarding the maximum limit of 50 minutes to enjoy the benefits of time spent in nature, co-author Donald Racow explained that ” there is no decline after 50 minutes, but rather the benefits physiological reported psychological and psychological effects tend to flatten out after this period. »

The researchers also found that student can simply sit or walk in natural surroundings for it to have a positive effect on their health. ” We wanted to keep this access to nature as simple and achievable as possible.notes Professor Racow. Although there are many studies of programs where you spend more time outdoors, we wanted to quantify doses in minutes, not days. “But Professor Meredith adds that” it is an opportunity to question our perception of nature. It really surrounds us: it treesflowerpot, spot grass or forest area. »

We wanted to quantify doses in minutes, not days

The team says their findings show that staying in nature could be prescribed as a form of treatment to prevent or improve stress, anxiety, depression and other mental problems that students experience. The new meta-analysis even suggests the “dose” of treatment needed to produce an effect.

Prescribing a dose can legitimize the doctor’s recommendations and set a tangible goaladds Professor Meredith. It’s different than just saying: “Go out!” There is something specific the student can strive for. »

To reduce stress, spend at least 20 minutes a day in nature!

Article by Marie-Celine Raypublished on April 8, 2019

A study from the University of Michigan showed that a 20-minute session in contact with nature effectively lowered the level of a stress hormone, cortisol. A simple walk, or some time spent sitting and contemplating the vegetation of a city park, may suffice. Here is a cheap way to reduce daily stress.

This study published in Limits in psychology can inspire healthcare professionals dealing with stressed patients. In a communicatedMaryCarol Hunter, lead author of this article, explained it “We know that spending time in nature reduces stress, but until now it was unclear how much, how often or even what kind of nature experience would benefit us.”

To answer these questions, the researchers recruited 36 people living in the city. Over an eight-week period, participants had to spend time in nature, at least ten minutes, three times a week or more. Cortisol levels – a hormone of stress – was measured in a saliva sample.

A marked decrease in cortisol levels

It points out the researcher “Participants were free to choose the time of day, the duration and place their experiences in nature. The authors nevertheless imposed on them some limitations: to use this time to the full nature day, without playing sports at the same time and avoiding using your smart phone in this privileged moment.

The results showed that only 20 minutes is enough to significantly reduce cortisol levels. It does not matter if it is walking or sitting and contemplating nature. Nature’s most effective dose appeared to be between 20 and 30 minutes because this duration effectively lowered cortisol levels. Beyond that, there was too surplus but grows more slowly.

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