Were you outdoors for a walk this weekend? The research is piling up showing that spending time outside in natural surroundings is associated with lower levels of stress hormones, less anxiety, less depression and even improved cognitive ability.
A children’s hospital in the US has a question on their discharge questionnaire: Does the child have access to outdoors and green spaces? If not, they are offered to take part in a nature program. Clinical trials show that this program increases the children’s health and decreases the parents’ stress levels.
Spending two hours per week walking in nature gives a significant improvement in health and subjective well-being. If you like numbers, a study shows that the effect increases with more time outside, reaching the maximum at 5 hours outdoors per week. That half an hour on workdays and Saturday, and one two-hour walk on Sunday. For everyone without a significant mobility impairment, that is completely achievable.
Make sure you get your two hours outside every week. That gives you the energy to work on anything else you need to change in your life.