A study, using data from representative sample of the adult population of England, has found that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing.

A growing body of evidence indicates that greater exposure to natural environments such as parks, woodlands and beaches) is associated with better health and well-being, at least among populations in high income, largely urbanised, societies.

However, the researchers argue, the amount of greenspace in one’s neighbourhood or the distance of one’s home to the nearest publically accessible greenspace or park is only one way of assessing an individual’s level of nature exposure. An alternative is to measure the amount of time individuals spend outside in natural environments, sometimes referred to as ‘direct’ exposure.

The study found that it did not matter how 120 mins of contact a week was achieved e.g. one long vs. several shorter visits/week.

The authors suggest that prospective longitudinal and intervention studies are a critical next step in developing possible weekly nature exposure guidelines comparable to those for physical activity.

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