Study: Spending Time Outside Is Good For You

You should consider working in some time for a walk today– new research from the University of East Englia finds exposure to green space is really good for your health. The scientists used data from 140 studies involving more than 290 people and determined that populations with higher levels of green space exposure are also more likely to report good overall health. For this study, “green space” was defined as open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation as well as urban green spaces, which included urban parks and street greenery. Lead author Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett says, “We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration. People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to green space significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a physiological marker of stress.