the rustle of Leaves, the budding Green, and the scent of fir needles In the spring it attracts many people in the forest.
a short walk there, Stress can help to significantly reduce, confirmed in a study by the US-American University of Michigan. Thus, 20 minutes a day in the countryside, in order to reduce the Level of stress hormones significantly. The researchers describe in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology” from a “nature pill”.
“We already know that it reduces Stress, if you spend time in nature,” says the Ecologist and the lead author, Mary Carol Hunter. “So far, but it was unclear how long and how often you go in to the nature should be and also what kind of experience of nature of use to us.” The investigation has now shown that 20 to 30 minutes in an environment that conveys a sense of nature, be sufficient to reduce effectively the cortisol levels in the body.
Cortisol, also called stress hormone, is produced in the adrenal cortex and the liver removed. Persistently elevated cortisol values, for example by chronic Stress, are associated with Obesity, a weakening of the immune system, cardiovascular disorders, depression, and a number of other diseases.
The scientists at the University of Michigan, had prescribed a group of 36 volunteers on a regular “natural pill,” researchers believed at least three walks per week in the nature with a duration of ten minutes or more. Before, during and after the Experiment, the cortisol of the participants values determined by analysis of a saliva sample.
The volunteers were able to determine the day, duration and location of their experience of Nature itself, so that it is fit to your individual lifestyle. They had to, however, minimize some of the stress factors: “you should take natural pill in the light of day, no physical exercise and Social Media, the Internet, phone calls, conversations, and reading avoid,” explains Hunter.
The study showed that just 20 minutes of nature experience were enough to reduce cortisol levels significantly. The most the stress hormone was reduced when the participants spent about 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in the countryside. The researchers now hope that their experiment proves the effectiveness of the “natural pill”: as a low-cost therapeutic agent for the mitigation of the negative effects of life, the many spend in closed rooms and in front of screens urban.
“Doctors could use our results as an evidence-based rule of thumb for what must be included in the prescription of a “natural pill,”” sums up Hunter. The data in rows in a growing number of studies showing the positive effects of a stay in nature or specifically a walk in the Woods. The Swedish researcher Roger Ulrich found in 1984 that the mere sight of trees has a positive effect: patients looked after surgery from the hospital window on the Green, required fewer painkillers and genasen faster.
in 2015, added the US-American environmental psychologist Marc Berman that the number of trees impacted in a residential area, the health of the residents. Who lived in greener areas, suffered less often from cardiovascular diseases or Diabetes. Previously, a Japanese study showed that regular and extensive forest, the number of Natural killer cells walks, a sub-group of white blood cells and part of the human immune system, increased.
In Japan, “Shinrin-yoku”, the “bathing in the forest”, is in fact part of the state health care system, “forest medicine” in 2012, a separate branch of research at Japanese universities. Here is also explored, which factors provide for the positive health effects. So, it is still unclear whether it is the air of the forest, or to the special Vegetation.
it Makes such a difference, whether by a Japanese or German forest walk? The self-experiment you can do at least since 2017 on the island of Usedom: Here’s the first certified Spa is located – and the healing forest in Germany, on the Website of the operator as a “natural pharmacy”.