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How Immersing Yourself in Nature Benefits Your Health

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

health benefits of nature

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  • Compared to no nature contact, spending 120 minutes or more in nature during the previous week was associated with a greater likelihood of good health or high well-being
  • Getting recommended levels of nature exposure weekly could result in a similar magnitude of health gains as achieving recommended levels of physical activity
  • Humans’ alienation from nature may lead to “diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses”
  • In psychiatric patients, gardening led to improved mood and pro-social behavior while fostering a sense of community, belonging and shared purpose

If you feel revived and energized after a hike through the woods or an afternoon in a local park, there’s likely an intrinsic reason why: Spending time in nature is good for your health. Although modern-day humans are, unfortunately, often disconnected from the natural world, spending much of their time indoors in man-made structures instead of outdoors, humans have deep connections with nature.

It’s not surprising, then, that accumulating evidence shows you can boost your health and well-being by taking time to revel in nature, and there’s even research showing just how much time you should spend in nature to reap the greatest benefits.

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