We all know that fresh air is good for us. But did you know that research has shown that spending time in nature can significantly boost your physical health and mental wellbeing?
Research led by the University of Exeter found that people who spent at least 120 minutes in nature a week were significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who didn’t visit nature at all during an average week.
The large-scale study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England.
It found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes were achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits.
Dr Mat White of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, said: “It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough. The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing. Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.”
Their view is backed up by the mental health charity Mind, which says that spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. They highlight 11 positive effects of spending time in nature:
- improve your mood
- reduce feelings of stress or anger
- help you take time out and feel more relaxed
- improve your physical health
- improve your confidence and self-esteem
- help you be more active
- help you meet and get to know new people
- connect you to your local community
- reduce loneliness
- help you feel more connected to nature
- provide peer support
There are so many ways to get out and enjoy nature
Based in Christchurch, Dorset, we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and stunning woodland walks right on our doorstep. But simply getting out in the garden can be just as beneficial. As we’re into some lovely summer weather, why not try eating breakfast outside to enjoy the morning sun? Or relaxing in the garden with a good book at the end of the day?
Benefits of growing your own
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a great way of spending more time in nature and improving your health. It’s good for the environment too. By growing your own you can reduce food miles and reduce waste. You only pick and use what you need to eat that day. Did you know that once fruit and vegetables are harvested they start to lose their nutrients? By eating them straight from the garden you an gaining the maximum health benefits.
According to Beneden Health, “Working in the garden for only 30 minutes a day can promote better sleep and positive energy.” That’s mainly thanks to the sun’s rays promoting vitamin D production, which is vital to our health. You’re also more likely to end up eating more fruit and vegetables if you grow your own. The vegetables you eat are likely to be free from pesticides and other chemicals, so organic too.
Greenhouses are a great investment to maximise your growing season. You could also get a better crop too, by concentrating the effect of the sun. There’s a wide range of sizes and styles available, to suit any garden space.
Garden buildings can help create spaces in your garden that you want to spend time in and around, extending your home into the outdoors
Whether it’s entertaining friends in the summer months or cosying up in a log cabin in the winter months, we can help you create your own slice of outdoor living and enjoy nature’s benefits.
Pop into our show site in Christchurch, Dorset, to be inspired by our stunning range of garden buildings. A family-run business, we offer a friendly and personal service from your initial enquiry through to your garden building installation and after-sales service.