Navigation Links
In the green of health: Just 5 minutes of 'green exercise' optimal for good mental health

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2010 How much "green exercise" produces the greatest improvement in mood and sense of personal well-being? A new study in the American Chemical Society's semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology has a surprising answer.

The answer is likely to please people in a society with much to do but little time to do it: Just five minutes of exercise in a park, working in a backyard garden, on a nature trail, or other green space will benefit mental health.

Jules Pretty and Jo Barton explain in the study that green exercise is physical activity in the presence of nature. Abundant scientific evidence shows that activity in natural areas decreases the risk of mental illness and improves the sense of well-being. Until now, however, nobody knew how much time people had to spend in green spaces to get those and other benefits.

"For the first time in the scientific literature, we have been able to show dose-response relationships for the positive effects of nature on human mental health," Pretty said.

From an analysis of 1,252 people (of different ages, genders and mental health status) drawn from ten existing studies in the United Kingdom, the authors were able to show that activity in the presence of nature led to mental and physical health improvements.

They analyzed activities such as walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming. The greatest health changes occurred in the young and the mentally-ill, although people of all ages and social groups benefited. All natural environments were beneficial including parks in urban settings. Green areas with water added something extra. A blue and green environment seems even better for health, Pretty noted.

From a health policy perspective, the largest positive effect on self-esteem came from a five-minute dose.

"We know from the literature that short-term mental health improvements are protective of long-term health benefits," Pretty said. "So we believe that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with green exercise," added Barton.

A challenge for policy makers is that policy recommendations on physical activity are easily stated but rarely adopted widely as public policy, Pretty noted, adding that the economic benefits could be substantial.

Policy frameworks that suggest active living point to the need for changes to physical, social and natural environments, and are more likely to be effective if physical activity becomes an inevitable part of life rather than a matter of daily choice.


Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

Related medicine news :

1. 5 Ways to Have a Green Mother's Day
2. Savvy Mom TV™ Welcomes Dr. Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D. as their Brain Health Expert
3. Military develops multi-purpose green decontaminants for terrorist attack sites
4. is the Right Solution for Green Living and a Clean Indoor Environment
5. Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
6. Go Green With Your Curriculum by Choosing A Paperless Option
7. OnlyGreen Plants 365 Trees for Earth Day 2010
8. An Earth Day View of Green Building: Earth Advantage Institute Looks 10 Years Forward
9. New Eco Site,, Launches on Earth Day
10. bgreen apparel Unveils Summer 2010 “Oganic Basic Essentials" Collection, Reduces Carbon Footprint with Stylish, Sustainable Apparel
11. Michaels Encourages “Green Living” Through Organ Donation, Adoption
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
In the green of health: Just 5 minutes of 'green exercise' optimal for good mental health
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Heroes in Recovery (HIR) is proud ... Recovery Network’s Moments of Change conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. Rob Waggener, ... Dean Dauphinais who exemplify the ideals of the Heroes in Recovery movement. , ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... ... North American Tool Corporation has been named Supplier of the Year by ... on October 4th. , Each year, IBC recognizes distributors and suppliers ... to expect from members of IBC’s marketing group. The recipient of the Supplier ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... ... winner of the “Check-In and Win a Vacation to Hawaii” Facebook contest at Gold’s ... “I didn’t believe I could win a free vacation simply by checking in on Facebook ... gym and invest in my own health – and now I’m going to Hawaii.” , ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... Amerec , a leader in ... and skin care equipment, will be displaying custom sauna and steam room solutions at ... high-end resorts and spas as customers, SpaEquip is recognized for their ability to assist ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... of hypnosis by individuals who lack professional education and clinical training in a ... public for a variety of purposes such as: losing weight, managing pain, or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... Leadership of the National Association of Vision Care ... Aspasia Shappet , CEO of MESVision resumed her role as ... at its annual strategic planning meeting in Chicago ... the organization from May 2013 to May of this year. ... a result of the increased demands of his recent appointment ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015 A new computer ... children can predict whether they will develop effective language ... to a study in the journal Brain and ... --> In the journal,s Oct. 12 online edition, ... computer program determines how specific regions of the brain ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ) ... "Personalized Medicine, Targeted Therapeutics and Companion Diagnostic ... Industry Trends, Technologies, Participants, and Environment" ... ) has announced the addition of ... Companion Diagnostic Market to 2019 - Strategic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: