Short 'nature walks' increase our sense of well-being

Short 'nature walks' increase our sense of well-being

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Over the past week I've been lucky enough to be in Scotland (for work, pictured above), and Barcelona (for fun). With the incredible weather all over Europe at the mo, it was a chance to spend lots of time outside, and all the open space and stunning views reminded me of the interesting research on 'having a view of nature'. A couple of months ago I wrote about the extraordinary findings that workers on the 'greenery side' of a building took 19% fewer sick days, and pupils do worse in windowless classrooms.

But there's more - this time from the 'Happiness Lab' at Carleton University (which all sounds a bit George Orwell, but anyway).

At the Happiness Lab, a survey found short nature walks increase our sense of well-being. Those who walked along a tree-lined green route felt more positive, more relaxed and more fascinated with life than those who walked in a tunnel. (Which, let's face it, we probably could have predicted. "Would you rather take a stroll on a lovely tree-lined path, or in a dark tunnel?").

Actually, my mickey-taking is being a bit unfair on the good researchers at the Happiness Lab, who've obviously done a very thorough job. Their message is: don't forego the opportunity to have a nature walk when you get the chance. It will make you feel good.

And after my trips to Scotland and Barcelona, I can certainly agree with that.

Tony Wrighton

 

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