Trees make us feel better

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has reported a study in Japan had 585 young adults relate their moods after spending 15 minutes wandering around a forest and 15 minutes in an urban setting.

The forests and urban centres were in 52 different locations around the country, and up to a dozen participants walked in each area.

In all cases, the participants walking in a forest experienced less anxiety, hostility, fatigue, confusion, and depressive symptoms, and more vigour, compared to walking in an urban setting. The results were even stronger for walkers who’d been feeling a tad anxious before they started.

“The psychological benefits of walking through forests are very significant, and forest environments are expected to have very important roles in promoting mental health in the future,” the authors concluded.

There are other studies which suggest the practice of shinrin-yoku —deliberately spending time among trees—can help deal with the stresses and strains of urban living.

It’s not news to us, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.

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