Navigation Links
Spending time in nature makes people feel more alive, study shows
Date:6/3/2010

Feeling sluggish? The solution may require getting outside the box that big brick-and-mortar box called a building.

Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive, finds a series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology. And that sense of increased vitality exists above and beyond the energizing effects of physical activity and social interaction that are often associated with our forays into the natural world, the studies show.

"Nature is fuel for the soul, " says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. "Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature," he says.

The findings, adds Ryan, are important for both mental and physical health. "Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don't just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings," says Ryan.

In recent years, numerous experimental psychology studies have linked exposure to nature with increased energy and heightened sense of well-being. For example, research has shown that people on wilderness excursions report feeling more alive and that just recalling outdoor experiences increases feelings of happiness and health. Other studies suggest that the very presence of nature helps to ward off feelings of exhaustion and that 90 percent of people report increased energy when placed in outdoor activities.

What is novel about this research, write the authors, is that it carefully tests whether this increased vitality associated with the outdoors is simply the feel-good spillover from physical activity and people-mixing often present in these situations. To tease out the effects of nature alone, the authors conducted five separate experiments, involving 537 college students in actual and imagined contexts. In one experiment, participants were led on a 15-minute walk through indoor hallways or along a tree-lined river path. In another, the undergraduates viewed photographic scenes of buildings or landscapes. A third experiment required students to imagine themselves in a variety of situations both active and sedentary, inside and out, and with and without others.

Two final experiments tracked participants' moods and energy levels throughout the day using diary entries. Over either four days or two weeks, students recorded their exercise, social interactions, time spent outside, and exposure to natural environments, including plants and windows.

Across all methodologies, individuals consistently felt more energetic when they spent time in natural settings or imagined themselves in such situations. The findings were particularly robust, notes Ryan; being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day was enough to significantly boost vitality levels. Interestingly, in the last study, the presence of nature had an independent energizing effect above that of being outdoors. In other words, conclude the authors, being outdoors was vitalizing in large part because of the presence of nature.

The paper builds on earlier research by Ryan, Netta Weinstein, a psychologist at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and others showing that people are more caring and generous when exposed to nature. "We have a natural connection with living things," says Ryan. "Nature is something within which we flourish, so having it be more a part of our lives is critical, especially when we live and work in built environments." These studies, concludes Ryan, underscore the importance of having access to parks and natural surroundings and of incorporating natural elements into our buildings through windows and indoor plants.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Hagen
susan.hagen@rochester.edu
585-576-5945
University of Rochester
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. AHIP Statement on New Health Spending Projections
2. Senate Restrictions on Flexible Spending Accounts Spur New Campaign
3. Save Flexible Spending Plans Applauds Amendment to Protect Flexible Spending Accounts
4. Bella Sante Spas in Boston Reports Online Spending Rise of 12 percent December 1 to December 17, 2009
5. Study shows health care spending spurs economic growth
6. National Study Reports Staggering Spending Increases Among Seniors With Chronic Conditions Through Original Medicare - Special Needs Plan Program Offers Solution For Those In Texas
7. SDI Reports: Pharmaceutical Promotion Spending Indicates Trend Toward Electronic and Online Promotion
8. Population health plays a bigger role in geographic differences in Medicare spending
9. The Who Designs Limited-Edition T-Shirt Exclusively for Hard Rocks Signature Series: Edition XXVII
10. Euthymics Bioscience Collaborates with GlobalSign and SafeNet to Provide an FDA Approved Electronic Signature Solution
11. Gene Signature May Point to Lung Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Spending time in nature makes people feel more alive, study shows
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Russ DiGilio ... the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer organizations during National ... Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased with the participation ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... With the increasing demand for dental ... Your Mouth?” (WIYM) campaign to inform dentists and patients about the safety issues related ... and prosthetic market in the U.S. is projected to reach $6.4 billion in 2018 ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, ... biologics and consumer health products, today announced that it had joined the Pharmaceutical ... a non-profit organization to unite pharmaceutical and healthcare companies that share a vision ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Care Act. Dr. Botelho advocates for the mass media launching of story movements ... ongoing opportunities to share their unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp Insurance, an ... around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event to provide ... the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ongoing needs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... their offering. ... The global chromatography market to grow at a ... Market 2016-2020, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 ... "Sugar-Based Excipients Market by Product (Actual Sugars, Sugar ... (Filler & Diluent, Tonicity Agents), Formulation (Oral, Topical, ... MarketsandMarkets, the market has witnessed healthy growth during ... at a CAGR of 4.3% between 2016 and ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Agenovir Corporation, a ... novel antiviral therapeutics, today announced that it appointed ... officer and a member of the board of ... executive with a deep background in both founding ... founder of Agenovir, co-president of Chan Zuckerberg  Biohub ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: