The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Effects of nature on people: parks instead of psychotropic drugs


Researchers from Finland have discovered that visiting a green space reduces the likelihood that people will take certain medications. One group in particular benefits.

Enlarge image

Can a walk in the forest replace psychotropic drugs?

Photo: Carina Koenig/EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

A picnic in the park, gardening in the allotment or just a walk in the woods: It has long been known that green spaces are good for you.

Researchers from Finland have now discovered that a visit to the countryside also reduces the likelihood that people will resort to psychotropic drugs.

The results were published in the journal "Occupational & Environmental Medicine".

If you go to the countryside three to four times a week, the chance of taking medication for mental stress is reduced by a third.

Researchers also looked at drugs for high blood pressure and asthma.

Here, too, the chance of ingesting them was reduced by around a third and a quarter if the subjects regularly visited green spaces.

To examine the connection, researchers from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare used data from 16,000 people living in the capital Helsinki or in the region.

The data comes from the years 2015 and 2016. At that time, the subjects had filled out extensive questionnaires.

Among other things, they had to state how often they visited green spaces in the warm months – May to September – i.e. parks, forests, cemeteries, meadows, zoos, gardens.

They also had to tick whether they were currently taking or had been taking certain medications in the last year: for anxiety, insomnia and depression, for high blood pressure and asthma.

Effect greatest among people with low incomes

The researchers found a strong correlation between visiting green spaces and taking the medication.

So you could say: the more nature, the fewer pills.

A surprising finding: the association was strongest among people with a low annual household income.

This could be due to the fact that people with a lower income have fewer health-promoting resources overall: subscriptions to gyms or yoga classes, for example.

A walk through the park could have a more significant effect as a result.

The results coincide with a large number of previous findings: forest walks strengthen the cardiovascular system, half an hour in nature is enough to measurably reduce stress, looking at plants or listening to birds, even helps against loneliness.

The authors of the study conclude: “This growing body of scientific evidence could boost the supply of quality green spaces in urban environments.

This could be a way to improve health and well-being in cities.”


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2023-01-17

You may like

Life/Entertain 2023-01-25T12:20:53.566Z
Tech/Game 2023-03-07T16:49:21.942Z

Trends 24h

Tech/Game 2023-03-28T09:00:46.844Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.