Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Taking a walk in the woods is good for you - FACT!

We all know that taking a walk in the woods makes you feel better and this is something that is really important to my practice. I recently read a fascinating article in the Ecologist which refers to a recent study by A UK research team from Herriot-Watt University. They measured how the brain responds to walking in different environments and found clear proof that...
Walking in nature and spending time under leafy shade trees causes electrochemical changes in the brain that can lead people to enter a highly beneficial state of “effortless attention.”
The article also draws parallels with the work of Rachel Kaplan and Steven Kaplan in discussing the restorative mental benefits of being immersed in the natural environment;
When you enter a green space of natural light and shadows containing the colors of nature, you can also enter a particularly reflective mode at the same time in which you are able to comprehend more than one thing at a time, a state in which stresses and pressures are reduced...All in all, being in nature produces a fully restorative experience.
So although it is what I already knew this somehow serves to emphasise the importance of our green spaces and making time to immerse ourselves in the natural world. I was also fascinated to note that particular reference was made to the benefits of play and exploration in nature; all my mucking about along the river or in the woods takes on a different meaning.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. A great addition to the already very persuasive research into the benefits of 'green activity' for mental health and well being.

  2. In a way, this doesn't surprise me at all but it's always reassuring to have it confirmed. Perhaps I should get a dog and walk daily!

  3. Great links Hannah! I have to say, I come up with lots of ideas when I'm out walking around - the trick is remembering them all when I get back to the house - I guess I should have a 'walking sketchbook'!

  4. I imagined myself walking along a forest path and picking up stones and fallen branches to create an installation of sorts. Maybe I should actually try to. I live in a rural area surrounded by pine forests and I love walking in their shade. I'd only need to sit down by the path and play with what nature offers. Thanks for sharing.



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