Nature is beneficial – maybe essential – for human health. Psychologists and health researchers are finding more and more science-backed reasons we should spend time outside.
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.
Therapeutic gardening can be a powerful way to ground psychiatric patients because it puts them in contact with nature and other people and gets their bodies moving. Grounding techniques help people detach from emotional pain by reconnecting with the external world and the present moment.
The belief that mental illness is worse in industrialized and urbanized environments is supported by some evidence. For example, much recent research suggests that rates of mental illness are higher in urban centres, compared with rates in the countryside.
The practice, long-popular in Japan, is gaining traction in the U.S. as a way of harnessing the health benefits of being outdoors.
WHO Regional Director for South East Asia, Poonam Khetrapal Singh said rapid urbanisation was challenging the ecosystem, severely affecting physical and mental health being. Noncommunicable diseases–many of them environment-related–account for around 8.5 million deaths in the South East Asia Region every year while consumption of food containing traces of heavy metals and other detritus was Read more
It’s been ten years since the Nowak debacle, and NASA hasn’t forgotten about mental health. Last year, scientists working for the Human Research Program at NASA released their latest evidence report on mental health in space flight. Read more.
With floods — as well as storms, heat waves and droughts — expected to increase in frequency thanks to climate change, the impact such trauma may have on the minds of those affected is something doctors, policymakers and governments are considering when planning services to help populations at-risk.
Looking beyond the physical, experts are also trying to sound the alarm about the quieter, more insidious effects of climate change: namely, that global warming is threatening the emotional health of humans worldwide.
According to research from the Royal Women’s Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of Melbourne, found no association between depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, or psychological distress with vitamin D status.
The sky gets bright later in the morning, and dark earlier in the evening; yet, our hectic schedules require us to keep going as if nothing has changed.
Compared to the allure of video gaming, the promise of working with your hands and spending time in the great outdoors doesn’t hold much interest. But new research provides incentive to encourage your kids to sign up.
The mental health effects of a natural disaster are felt for years after the event itself.
A lack of vitamin D – common in the UK during the autumn and winter months – has been associated with increased symptoms of depression, according to a new study.
“Our neighborhood parks and the vast lands of the Forest Preserves of Cook County offer so many opportunities to get out and explore nature. And our mental and physical health can be improved because of it.”
A story of motherhood, mental illness, and a planet on fire.
You would think that after all these misbegotten studies scientists would have given up on their efforts to find a biological basis for crime. But no: in recent years there’s been a renewal of the science, most recently in the studies of an apparent ‘warrior gene’ that makes some men (it’s always men) inherently violent
The stallion kicked out, nostrils flaring. In the ring, it faced off against a 32-year-old former infantryman. –
Many primate species form strong, long-lasting social bonds with particular individuals that resemble human friendship. These relationships are associated with higher reproductive success and even longer life.
Nature is a free and easy way to reduce stress that many students do not take nearly enough advantage of. While finding time to go outside and take a walk, or a hike, or just sit in the sun, can be difficult, it is instrumental to student health.
So the justification of our current system of punishment depends on whether people deserve harsh treatment. Some thinkers, including Sam Harris and the neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes, have suggested that, in fact, no one at all deserves to be punished because our choices and behaviour are all determined by physical processes we can’t control.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced $500,000 in funding to help two area health centers increase and expand activities in response to the lead contamination of Flint’s water.
From our clichés, you would think that we could read faces like they were … well, open books. In fact, the skill has more in common with dancing, or writing confessional poetry: People tend to overestimate their ability to do it.
All of us who live in colder winter climates know the peaceful feeling that a blanket of freshly fallen snow creates. Now, a new report by a mechanical engineer offers a logical explanation of the science behind why ‘”the snowfall is so silent.”