Many studies have been done over the years regarding the health benefits of being outdoors. For example, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. There are various theories as to why. A leading hypotheses is that being outside increases our Vitamin D intake, which is essential for the “formation, growth, and repair of bones and for normal calcium absorption and immune function”, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Many experts believe that a lack of nature is incredibly unhealthy. They say that being in and around leaves, trees, sand, etc. is as natural to us as it is to any other animal. Research has shown that nature exposure is a way to foster involuntary attention, which is basically just observing the world around us. This is believed to help restore our overall attention capacity, where as a repetitive “9-5” office job can eventually feel mundane and cause a person to become bored.
Professor Roger Ulrich, a leading expert in the benefits of natural green space, has studied the effects of open outdoor space on reducing stress levels. He concluded that trees and the overall outdoor environment helped individuals feel less stressed. It is even theorized that the outdoor environment can help prevent cancer.
With this in mind, it’s safe to say that if you have a job working outdoors, you are in a good place health-wise. If your career is an office job, consider talking to your boss about having some outdoor time if possible, or even organizing a lunch time walking club. Even taking a 30 minute walk through a park has shown to have health benefits.
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