Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing, according to a new large-scale study.
New research shows that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature each week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don’t visit nature at all during an average week. However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.
The researcher who led the study said, “It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough. The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban greenspaces seems to be a good thing. Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.”
While there is also “growing evidence that merely living in a greener neighborhood can be good for health,” not everyone has two hours each work to spare, especially residents living in stressed communities. The Anacostia Park and Community Collaborative understands the value of spending time outdoors and also the challenges of working parks into our existing lives and schedules. That’s why we are working together to meet people “where you are at” with events and programs in the park.