PLYMOUTH, England – Much of modern life takes place indoors. From offices to homes to private homes, most people today spend most of the day indoors. Spending more time outdoors has for a long time been associated with a more positive mindset, but now a study has concluded that the daily experience of green can put us in a better mindset and reduce the harmful craving for something substances like alcohol, cigarettes and junk food.
According to a study by the University of Plymouth, the recognition of green and nature at home leads to less frequent and intense desire. The study builds on earlier work that found an association between outdoor exercise and reduced cravings. However, the authors of the study claim that exercise is not necessary to take advantage of nature.
The study is the first of its kind and according to the authors, cities and communities around the world need to invest in and protect public green spaces.
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"It has been known for some time that staying in nature is related to the well-being of a human being. A similar association with the desire to simply see green spaces adds a new dimension to research to date. This is the first study to address this idea and could have a number of implications for public health and environmental protection programs in the future, "said lead researcher Leanne Martin in a press release.
Participants in the study completed an online survey questionnaire asking questions about their daily contact with nature, their habitual desire, and their frequency of negative emotions. In terms of nature, participants' exposure to green in their own neighborhoods, the amount of visible foliage from their homes, access to a garden and the frequency with which they visit public parks were measured.
The results showed that daily access to a garden or other green space reduced the frequency and occurrence of harmful food cravings. In addition, the opportunity to look at nature from home led to similar results. The researchers also included physical activity in the surveys, but found that after experiencing nature, participants felt less cravings regardless of whether they were moving or not.
are confident that green spaces can help those struggling with harmful addictions.
The study was published in the journal Health & Place.