On average, we only spend 5% of our day out.
On average, we only spend 5% of our day out. Although scientists reiterate the benefits of nature in our well-being, we live in a society where people spend more and more time indoors and online - especially children. What are the effects these elements have on our brains and our thoughts? Florence Williams spent the last three years writing about our relationship with the physical world - mobilized in part by her own removal from the natural world.
Williams proves that only five minutes in nature, whether it's a walk in the park or a little fresh air away from the office, offers us immediate benefits: the heart rate slows down, our muscles begin to relax and brain regions are involved decision making and feelings also begin to relax.
A few minutes of rest in the natural environment compensates us for the difficult day that we may have and improves levels of productivity and mental well-being. Note this: children in Finland have 15 minutes of rest per 45 minutes of outdoor lessons and have proven to have the highest test results in the world.
3 key benefits of a break in nature
Williams in The Nature Fix, but also many other writers and theorists have explored the healing power of nature. And these are the three key findings from the science of nature in our health:
1. Nature makes us happier and less miserable: 60 minutes in nature and you will feel less despondent, your thoughts will become more positive and you will cultivate a deeper social connection with those around you.
2. Short walks in nature stimulate our mental health: According to Williams and Finnish researchers, 5 hours a month in nature and you will feel happier. They propose to "break" them on short excursions every week, like a walk to the nearest mountain.
3. Stop and smell trees: The fragrances and aromas of nature, trees and flowers strengthen our immune system.