Researchers at Stanford recently found that more time spent outdoors yields significant mental health benefits and even reduces the risk of depression. Published in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science, the study found decreased activity in the part of the brain associated with depression in individuals who spent an hour and a half in a natural area, compared to individuals who spent the same amount of time in a congested urban setting. Accordingly, as the world has quickly become more urbanized, rates of mental disorders such as depression have dramatically risen. The Natural Capital Project, along with other organizations including The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, have contributed to growing bodies of research exploring the increasingly obvious connection between the environment and human well-being.

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