October 4, 2022 – Spending time outdoors around grass, trees, and other plants can improve both mental and physical health.
Research has shown that exposure to green spaces can encourage exercise and social interaction, improve mindfulness, and decrease stress and anxiety, according to a September 20 article in the St. Louis American.
Heather Eliassen, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that some of the benefits of time spent outside can include “improvements in sleep, blood pressure, cognitive function and physical activity, as well as reduced risks of chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
The article offered advice on how to keep visits to parks and other green spaces as safe and enjoyable as possible: bring water and snacks, wear sunscreen and appropriate footwear, and bring a family member or friend with you rather than going alone. Eliassen suggested that people learn more about the green spaces in their neighborhoods, walk or bike to them if possible, or figure out how to include them in their commutes.
Read the St. Louis American article: Benefits of time in greenspaces abound