Staying in nature for just 20 minutes could reduce your stress hormone

Staying in nature for just 20 minutes could reduce your stress hormone

In a new study, researchers found that spending just 20 minutes every day walking or sitting in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature could help reduce your stress.

The new finding suggests that it is easy to protect our mental health in daily life.

This is the first study that shows the most effective dose of an urban nature experience.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Michigan.

Previous research has shown that spending time in nature could reduce stress.

For example, one study found that nature can dramatically reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

War veterans and at-risk inner-city young people did white-water rafting trips, and their PTSD symptoms and general stress decreased a lot.

Another study found that nature helps empower people going through cancer treatment. Art and the imagery built on people’s innate connection to nature could help cancer patients reduce stress.

Although these findings suggest nature can help people become less stressed, it was unclear how much is enough and how often people need to to do it until now.

To answer the questions, in the current study the team designed an experiment that would give a realistic estimate of an effective dose.

They asked participants to stay in nature for about 10 minutes or more, at least 3 times a week for 8 weeks.

Participants were free to choose the time of day, duration, and the place of their nature experience.

The team measured the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in all of the people once every two weeks.

The results showed that just a twenty-minute nature experience was enough to reduce cortisol levels.

When people spent a little more time immersed in a nature experience, 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking, for example, cortisol levels dropped at their greatest rate.

After that, additional de-stressing benefits continue to add up but at a slower rate.

The researchers suggest that to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol effectively, people should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature.

Nature pills could be a low-cost solution to reduce daily stress stemming from growing urbanization and indoor lifestyles dominated by screen viewing.

The team suggests that healthcare practitioners may use the results as an evidence-based rule to give a nature-pill prescription.

They hope this study will form the basis of further research in this area and help design cities and wellbeing programs for the public.

The lead author of the study is Dr. MaryCarol Hunter, an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan.

The study is published in Frontiers in Psychology.

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