More time spent outside is associated with a host of benefits for both children and adults. Maybe you have heard that time in nature can improve mental well-being and provide an opportunity for physical activity. There is also evidence that suggests living near green spaces can improve mental health and cognitive development in children. So, what are the benefits of outdoor activity?
There are some of the top benefits of outdoor activity:
- Mental Well-Being
Numerous studies have found that time spent in nature can improve mental well-being and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. One study even found that a 90-minute walk in a natural area was more effective at reducing negative thoughts than a walk in an urban area.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health and can be obtained by spending time in the sun. Just a few minutes of sun exposure each day can help improve vitamin D levels.
- Stress Reduction
Spending time outdoors can help reduce stress levels. One study found that employees who had access to outdoor spaces at work had lower levels of stress than those who did not have access to outdoor areas.
- Social Interactions
Outdoor activity can promote social interactions and lead to increased feelings of connectedness. Time spent in nature was associated with increased social cohesion.
- Physical Activity
Time spent outdoors can lead to increased physical activity levels, which has numerous health benefits. Children who spend more time outdoors are more likely to be physically active and have a lower body mass index (BMI).
- Improved Self-esteem
Outdoor activity can improve self-esteem, particularly in children. Several studies have found that children who spend time in nature have higher self-esteem. Additionally, children who had more access to nature had higher self-esteem than those who had less access.
- Boost Memory Capacity
Being in nature can also help to boost memory capacity. A group of students who took a nature walk before taking a memory test performed better than those who did not take a nature walk.
- Burn More Calories
According to a study, people who live in cities burn nearly 100 calories less per day than those who live in rural areas. The difference is likely due to the increased physical activity levels of rural residents.
- Be Happier
Studies have found that people who spend time outdoors are happier and have a more positive outlook on life. One study even found that outdoor activity can lead to increased happiness and life satisfaction.
- Fresh Air
Spending time outdoors can also lead to an increased intake of fresh air. Fresh, breathable air is essential for good health and can help improve lung function.
- Workout Longer and Harder
People who exercise outdoors can work out for longer and at a higher intensity than those who exercise indoors. The study found that outdoor exercisers had a lower heart rate and perceived exertion than indoor exercisers.
There are many benefits of outdoor activity, including mental well-being, stress reduction, increased physical activity, and improved self-esteem. Outdoor activity can also lead to increased social interaction and boost memory capacity. So get outside and enjoy the benefits of outdoor activity!