A recent New York Times article described results from a study that quantified how much exposure to nature people need to impact their health in a positive way.
The researchers found that people who spent about 120 minutes per week in nature (like a park or a forest) were less stressed and healthier than people who didn’t get outside at all. Spending less time (60-90 minutes) did not have as significant an effect. Even spending more time (5 hours) offered no additional benefits.
From this post’s title, perhaps you thought I was going to describe how to get nekkid and take a bath in the forest. Sorry, “forest bathing” just means immersing yourself in nature.
The study’s results made sense to me. As a species, we evolved in the outdoors. It’s what we’re made for. Spending time by water is also beneficial.
I am happy to report that I spend at least 140 minutes in nature per week. I am lucky to have a huge city park by my home where Buddy the Wonderdog and I walk every day.
I took some photos from my last walk through the park. At 640 acres, the park is large enough that you’d never know you were in the middle of a city while walking its trails. Signs of civilization are few, even from the rocky knob that features a view of Lake Superior.
My photo walk was longer than usual – over an hour. I returned home feeling serene, indeed. Have you had your dose of nature today?