Can the outdoors help our health?

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with work, school, financial, and family responsibilities. We spend hours in front of screens and while three years have elapsed since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many of us still struggle to pick up the pieces. We may find ourselves with less time and more stress, and feel pressure to be “connected” 24/7. If that constant digital connection requires us to be seated indoors at a desk, it can perpetuate a feeling of being stagnant or stuck.

Nature in any form, be it trees, bodies of water, or plants and animals, can enhance our lives in many ways. The sheer sights and sounds of nature provide refuge from our often-overstimulating digital world. The shocking red feathers of a cardinal, the rhythmic lapping of waves against a shoreline, the crisp smell of autumn air. Chances are even just these descriptions of nature conjure a calm feeling in your mind’s eye.


Perhaps the best news is that you don’t need to rearrange your entire life’s schedule to reap the benefits of nature. A recent UK study shows that two hours a week is all you need to improve your health and well-being.5 Most notably, this study examined a diverse group of 20,000 people from a range of ethnicities, health conditions, and occupations. The key takeaway is that no matter the circumstances of your life, two hours of nature per week can benefit everyone.

So, whether you spend those two hours hiking through the woods, sitting on a riverbank, gardening, or enjoying your lunch in a tree-lined city park, nature’s offering is waiting.

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