Is nature the new exercise?

In Sweden, tax breaks help people lead outdoor lifestyles, by bicycle commuting, for instance. In Scotland, doctors can prescribe outdoor activities as preventative care. Now we know just how important it is to get out in nature, and for how long.

Researchers publishing in the journal Scientific Reports have concluded that 120 minutes per week of immersion in nature is necessary to reap the mental and physical rewards, reducing the risk of allergies, stress, and cardiovascular disease, among other things. Having a target, they say, should help people arrange their priorities. It might even shape public policy: in South Korea, the government is creating “healing forests” to take the edge off urban life. You can go there to hike, to do yoga, or, presumably, to paint.

Image: iStockphoto Source: Knvul Sheikh, “How Much Nature is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say,” New York Times, June 13, 2019