WHY WE SHOULD EMBRACE THE GREAT OUTDOORS

As little ones, being outside was a large part of our everyday lives and growing into adulthood. Whether it was playing outside with friends, walking to the shops, or riding bikes. The word nature comes from Latin natura, which is from the same root as the Latin word for 'to be born' equivalent to the Ancient Greek word meaning 'natural growth'.

Unfortunately, we now all live more sedentary lives. Kids rarely get outside especially in cities and it’s the norm for kids and adults is to sit inside for hours on computers, smart devices or watching TV and eating lunch at their desks.

Here are a few examples on why being outside in nature has amazing health benefits;

  • Children (and most likely adults!) who spend more time outside have been proven to be calmer, happier and healthier than those who don't.

  • In Finland, public health officials now recommend that citizens get 5 hours a month, minimum in the woods, in order to stave off depression

  • Research shows hospital patient recovery times are improved when they have a view of green space from their bed.

  • A study looking at the introduction of green space into a built up deprived estate in Chicago found that aggressive behavior and crime decreased, while self-discipline and mental well being increased

So we know the facts, but how do we implement the all important changes?

Here’s some tips on how:

  1. Step away from your desk, go for a walk or eat your lunch in the park.

  2. Outside of work, when the weather permits choose to picnic, even if it is just a sandwich on a park bench.

  3. Change your travel route to include walking through the park or gardens

  4. Parents can try including playtime in the fresh air as part of a daily routine- this could be in a back garden or a communal green area.

So let's get out in the great outdoors - be reborn and metamorphose into our better selves.

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