Each year Planet Ark releases new research on the benefits of nature. This year the report is title Adding Trees – A prescription of Health, Happiness and Fulfilment.
This new research (sponsored by Toyota) explores how time in nature enhances and grows the key areas in life that Australians consider the most important for a fulfilling life – health, happiness, learning, relaxation and relationships.
The report presents the results from studies published in peer-reviewed journals and Planet Ark’s National Survey, finding that nature helps make people happier, healthier, brighter, calmer and closer. The surveys included in the report used internationally-recognised scales to measure the connection to nature and happiness of participants. With people spending more and more time tethered to screens and devices, there’s never been a greater need to add nature to our lives.
The report titled Adding Trees – A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment, found:
. Just 10 minutes’ relaxing outside is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure.
. Time in nature reduces a person’s chance of developing a range of diseases, including diabetes by 43%, cardiovascular disease and stroke by 37% and depression by 25%.
. Nature induces positive feelings through a number of physiological mechanisms, including activating the brain’s dopamine reward system.
. Students who take part in outdoor learning programs perform better in reading, writing, maths and science, with 77% of teachers reporting student improvement in standardised tests.
. A strong connection to nature makes people more likely to feel passionate about relationships with their friends and family.
Access the full report at http://treeday.planetark.org/research/