Mental Health

10 minutes a day in nature could reduce stress among students – expert explains

stairs between trees at daytime

Daily exposure to nature has been show to reduce anxiety, depression and stress. Image: Unsplash/Chuttersnap

Cally Wood
Lecturer in Nutrition and Exercise Science, University of Westminster
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Figure 1  Some pathways through which the natural environment can affect the health of broad segments of populations. Four of the pathways go through contact with nature, whereas two others go directly from the natural environment to air quality and stress, respectively, implying that the natural environment may affect health without an individual or group consciously engaging with nature as such. Associations between variables at the different steps in a given pathway are subject to modification by characteristics of the people or the context. The two-headed arrow between the natural environment and contact with nature acknowledges that these are joined in a reciprocal relationship. The two-headed arrows between the variables designating pathways (air quality, physical activity, social contacts, and stress) also speak to their reciprocal relatedness; however, each may be related with all the others and not only with the one adjacent. Abbreviations: CHD, coronary heart disease; CVD, cardiovascular disease.
Nature can have a huge amount of positive impacts on our health and well-being. Image: Annual Reviews
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