Categorized | Healthy Lifestyle

Nature May Improve Mental Health During COVID

Nature

A study published in Ecological Applications suggests that nature around one’s home may help mitigate some of the negative mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was diagnosed in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, it has spread throughout the world with alarming speed” according to the  study authors. “This has led to extensive and widespread efforts to contain its spread. Along with the widespread use of masks, many governments globally have encouraged or mandated the practice of isolation and physical distancing.”

The authors wrote, “during this extraordinary time, nature around the home may play a key role in mitigating against adverse mental health outcomes due to the pandemic and the measures taken to address it.”

During this extraordinary time, nature around the home may play a key role in mitigating against adverse mental health.

An online questionnaire survey completed by 3,000 adults in in Tokyo, Japan, quantified the link between five mental-health outcomes (depression, life satisfaction, subjective happiness, self-esteem, and loneliness) and two measures of nature experiences (frequency of greenspace use and green view through windows from home).

More frequent greenspace use and the existence of green window views from the home were associated with increased levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness, as well as decreased levels of depression and loneliness.

“Our results suggest that nearby nature can serve as a buffer in decreasing the adverse impacts of a very stressful event on humans,” said lead author Masashi Soga, PhD, of The University of Tokyo. “Protecting natural environments in urban areas is important not only for the conservation of biodiversity, but also for the protection of human health.” — Newswise

 

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