Health Benefits Of Nature Walk


Why the Sounds of Nature Are So Good for Health and Well-Being

New data finds that even listening to recordings of nature can boost mood, decrease stress, and even lessen pain.

By Elizabeth Millard

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According to new data, listening to birdsong helped decrease stress.Mia Kievy/iStock

The whoosh of wind through a stretch of forest, birds calling to one another as they land on branches, the gurgle of a brook over a rocky bed — these are the kinds of sounds that are not only calming, but could have profound health and well-being benefits, according to a research review in the April 2021 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  

For the review, the researchers looked at 18 studies investigating the health benefits of natural sound; study participants listened to recordings of outdoor sounds in laboratory settings. Participants reported less stress and improved health outcomes, like decreased pain, after listening to recordings of nature sounds.

Water sounds, such as that gurgling brook or a steady waterfall, tended to be the most effective at improving positive affect (the psychological term for a more positive outlook or disposition and the experience of joy and interest), while bird sounds were best for lowering stress.

The study’s lead author, Rachel Buxton, PhD, a research associate and conservation biologist in the Department of Biology at Carleton University in Ottawa, says she isn’t surprised by the findings. “From an evolutionary perspective, humans are hardwired to attend to signals of danger and security. And an environment that is filled with natural sounds feels safe and allows us to let our guard down,” she says.

This research adds to a substantial body of evidence that proximity to nature and time spent outdoors is good for human health and well-being.

Research Shows Green Space Benefits Health in Many Ways

Research published in June 2019 in Scientific Reports found that people who spent just two hours per week outside in a natural setting (including town parks, state parks, woodlands, and beaches) reported greater well-being compared with people who spent less time outdoors.

Source: Everyday Health 

Inserted by Zimbabwe Online Health Centre

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