11 Reasons Why Scientists Say You Should Spend More Time Outside

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We all know that a brisk walk helps to clear those cobwebs, but did you know that time outside has numerous proven health benefits?

These days, it’s not uncommon for people to spend the majority of their time indoors, in front of screens and under fluorescent lights. While this may have become the norm, is it entirely healthy?

Many scientists are now saying that time in nature is essential for human health.

This is not a new sentiment - In fact, the Japanese even have a word for it. “Shinrin-yoku” means “forest-bathing” and involves tranquil walks to soak up the atmosphere of a forest. It’s treated as preventative medicine and researchers in Japan and South Korea have established many health benefits related to this practice.

If you need some more convincing, here are 11 data-backed reasons to head into nature.


High levels of inflammation is associated with isses like autoimmune disorders, bowel disease, depression, and much more.

It turns out that time outdoors may be a simple way to minimise these symptoms naturally.

One study sent an elderly group on a week-long nature immersion, resulting in reduced symptoms of inflammation and hypertension.

Short term memory

Many studies have shown the efficacy of time in nature for short term memory performance.

In one study undertaken by the University of Michigan, participants who had recently taken long walks in nature performed 20% better on a memory test.

If you think a nice walk through the city on your lunch break will suffice, think again. It’s shown that nature walks outperform urban strolls.


Time in nature has a remarkable calming effect on the body, as displayed in several studies. It was shown that students who spent two night in the forest exhibited lower levels of cortisol when compared to their city-dwelling friends. Even having a desk with a view of nature has been associated with higher job satisfaction and lower stress levels!


This is one we’ve all been familiar with at some point in our lives. Luckily, research has shown that even simply observing images of nature can give you a mental boost!

Depression and anxiety

Time in nature appears to have amazing effect on mood, with studies showing that outdoor walks could be used to help major depressive disorder.

Anxiety, depression, self esteem and other issues were also found to improve in relation to time spent in nature, particularly when combined with physical activity.


Being outdoors could be a great way to get those creative juices flowing, with one study showing performance on creative problem-solving tasks was improved by 50%.


Researchers conducted a study where different groups were allocated seperate tasks, like walking through nature, walking through the city or simply relaxing. Which group do you think scored the highest on a proofreading task? You guessed it - the nature walkers.

Some studies have even suggested that the concentration levels of children with ADHD benefit from just 20 minutes in the park, with researchers recommending ‘doses of nature’ to manage symptoms.

Blood pressure

One study involving 280 people in Japan indicated that walking through a forest lowered stress hormones by 15%, and lowered average pulse by almost 4%.


This one may come as a surprise! Studies have shown that a reduced rate of myopia (nearsightedness) in children and adolescents is correlated with more time spent outside.

Immune system

Time amongst nature may also prove beneficial for your immune system and your ability to ward off issues like infections and the flu.

While more research is needed on the topic, the studies so far are promising.


It should come as no surprise now that regular time outdoors is correlated with measures of overall health and lower mortality rates.

One Dutch study of 250,782 people found a positive relationship between green environments and health, while a follow-up study showed that rates of many diseases lessened in proximity to natural environments.

The health benefits of immersing yourself in nature are vast. We’re not going to tell you to throw your laptop into the nearest lake and go off-grid, but we will encourage you make an effort to immerse yourself in natural environments. Try to take a walk in the bush, swim in the ocean, dig your toes in the sand or even simply take your dog for a long session at a leafy park this week.


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