Why You Need 2 Hours In Nature Each Week

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Why You Need 2 Hours In Nature Each Week

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Whether park, green space, or beach

coffee on the beach

Scientists in England have found that people who spend between 2 and 5 hours a week in nature report being in better health and well-being, even when controlled for neighborhood, wealth, health conditions, and the number of trips that were required.

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About The Method

20 Thousand people in England were surveyed about their exposure to nature in 60 minute blocks within the last week, and asked to comment on their health and well-being. Factors such as socio-economic status, neighborhood, city, long-term health issues, ethnicity, and age were controlled for.

The Results

The researchers found that those who reported recreational exposure to nature above 2 hours were of significantly better well-being than those below 2 hours, and that the benefits leveled off above 5 hours. It didn’t matter whether the exposure was in one longer block, or broken up into shorter blocks throughout the week.

How Do I Use This?

Get outside! Whoever you are, wherever you live, get out among the trees, get down to the beach and take in what’s around you. We’re lucky enough to live in a place with abundant access to nature. Virginia Beach alone has 3 million trees, almost 300 parks, and the longest pleasure beach in the world.

From the city’s site:

 

Virginia Beach is home to 293​ parks and park facilities, encompassing over 7,000 acres, including neighborhood and community parks, metro parks, signature parks, natural areas, waterway accesses, trail linkages, open space preservation areas and park athletic facilities. Each park is unique and offers something for everyone, from wide open spaces to playgrounds, picnic shelters, and ballfields.

Theories abound for why getting out into nature is so good for you, but it may be that doing so allows you to leave behind your stresses and anxieties because you’re forced to take in the activity in your surrounds in the same way that practicioners of mindfulness exercises look, listen, and feel what’s around them.

So do yourself a favor and get out among our millions of trees during the week, and stroll along the beach on the weekend.

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