Nature can nurture you to better health

“A new study has found that spending more time in nature can reduce the need for some prescription medications”

According to a recent study, a stroll in a park, beside a lake, or in a wooded area may lessen the need for anxiety, asthma, melancholy, high blood pressure, or sleeplessness medication.

The study discovered that spending three to four hours per week in nature decreased the probability of taking blood pressure drugs by 36%. It also lowered the odds of using mental health meds by 33%, and using asthma medications by 26%.

One of the study’s co-authors, Anu Turunen, a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, said “Physical activity is thought to be the key mediating factor in the health benefits of green spaces when availability or active use of green space are considered.”

The research, which was published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine on Monday, January 16, interviewed about 6,000 random people in three of Finland’s major cities about their usage of green and blue places within a kilometre of their homes.

Forests, gardens, parks, cemeteries, moors, natural grasslands, marshes, and zoos are all examples of green places. Lakes, rivers, and the sea are examples of blue areas.

Previous research has revealed that those who live near green areas have considerable health advantages. A 2016 research paper analysed the quantity of plant life and greenery surrounding over 100,000 women’s houses. After eight years, the researchers discovered that having the greatest green space lowered the women’s mortality rate by 12% – while also improving their mental health.

Those who live near green areas are less likely to die prematurely, according to a 2019 study of green spaces throughout the world. The new study also looked into the effect of being able to see green or blue regions from home on medicine usage. Viewing nature when indoors did not appear to be effective.

According to Lincoln Larson, an associate professor in North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources, however, there is hope for those who cannot up-sticks and live in the forest. Larson, who was not involved in the study but has conducted previous research on the benefits of public parks across the US, said “If you want the full health benefits that nature can provide, you have to immerse yourself in those settings. If you don’t have access to those places, simple seeing green space (or perhaps even experiencing virtual nature) is better than nothing.”

And don’t be afraid to start small. According to a 2019 research paper, taking care of plants in the office lowered stress for Japanese workers – until their plant died. According to the study, 27% of the workers had a substantial drop in their resting heart rate when measured objectively. So if you can’t get to the beach until that next family holiday, maybe it’s time to get a pot plant for your desk.

Timber lets us bring the benefits of nature into our homes and offices. At Quercus, we are always available to not only provide high quality, sustainably sourced, timbers, but to also share the benefits of our experience with customers. Whether you want help selecting the right timber for your next project or you’re just looking for a quote give us a call on 0845 50 50 311.