It has been said that when one is deprived of their natural habitat they will experience a slight physical and psychological breakdown. Studies show that students whose classroom environment is close to a park, or trees, will likely do better on their tests and such. Elders who live near parks will also be more likely to live longer. A 2001 study, conducted by Frances Kuo and William Sullivan found that those who live in houses that have no immediate access to nature will experience more chaotic – and aggressive – behavior.
“In our studies, people with less access to nature show relatively poor attention or cognitive function, poor management of major life issues, poor impulse control,” says Kuo. In a Norwegian study, victims of severe depression who took part in a horticulture program noticed reduced symptoms within 3 months. The effects of nature reach far beyond simply looking beautiful, for it brings upon an almost calming, or serene, effect on those who enjoy it. The absorption of vitamin D in the sun does no one harm – until, of course you walk into the house with lobster claws and a blood red chest, so be sure to apply sunscreen generously. Apparently, just the sight of natural landscapes ignite the area of the brain that promotes balance. Studies have shown that when exposed to images of mountains, rivers, beaches, etc, people will most likely observe feelings of ease and well-being.
Not only does being exposed to the natural world help one feel better mentally, but physically it can ease stress, blood-pressure, and anger. It impacts our abilities to pay attention and stay alert, and studies directed toward exercise have proved that those who walk on an outdoor track, for the most part, will walk at a brisker pace than those walking on an indoor track, or treadmill. This is why it remain at the utmost importance that we continue to hold high the integrity of our ecosystem, because without it, physically and psychologically we would begin to ‘break down’ and while the human species lives to adapt, we might never be the same if we didn’t have the outdoors at our disposal. If we had no place to go in order to ‘calm’ ourselves, or to get some fresh air or catch some rays, we might just go insane.
Sitting around for too long is detrimental to our health, and so is sitting in front of the boob tube or computer screen. I don’t want to undermine the advantages that technology has granted us within the past century; however, I do feel the need to stress the importance of exercise and fresh air. Walking around for an hour a day, through your neighborhood, through the park, or strolling down the beach can all do not only your body, but also your mind a lot of justice. Doing this can cross off both one’s need to experience the effects of nature while also fitting exercise into their daily routine. Neither of these two things can be a bad thing unless abused – and by abused I mean working out until you puke and staring into the sun for far too long – which, hopefully, many will have the sense not to do.
Once again, people can all do their own part in keeping the environment clean if only by throwing away their own garbage, and not making it somebody else’ job to do. Don’t forget to experience the natural effects of latex, wool, and other various organic materials in your own bedroom by checking out CozyPure and the Organic Comfort Zone.