There is a growing consensus that nature has many health benefits, from increased physical activity to mental, emotional, and community health benefits.
- Nature exposure has demonstrated benefits for general wellbeing as well as for specific symptoms relating to anxiety, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Being outdoors supports a wide range of physical health issues, including increasing physical activity in children, increasing vitamin D in people of all ages, and decreasing blood sugar for diabetics.
- Public parks and green open spaces have social, economic, and environmental benefits for our surrounding communities.
- Exposure to nature improves our positive outlook and facilitates positively-toned emotional reactions, which have a restorative effect.
- A wealth of studies has demonstrated that nature experience is associated with psychological well-being such as a sense of meaning and purpose in life, improved manageability of life tasks, and a decrease in mental distress, such as negative affect.
- Nature experience has been shown to positively affect various aspects of cognitive function such as memory and attention, impulse inhibition, children’s school performance, as well as imagination and creativity.
- Nature contributes to physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.
- Studies on recovery from illness and injury have found that exposure to nature, even an image of a nature scape, resulted in patients able to tolerate pain better, have fewer negative effects and spend less time in hospitals.
- Time spent in nature connects us to each other and the larger world. Studies show that when participants viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up, when they viewed urban scenes, the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety were activated.
- Lack of time in the natural world, largely due to hours spent in front of the TV or computer screens, have been associated with depression, loss of empathy, and lack of altruism.