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• A study conducted by the University of Toronto Mississauga found that participants who engaged in nature activities reported lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
• The study also found that nature activities can support mental wellbeing, social connectedness and physical activity.
• Regular exposure to natural environments is important in fostering resilience to psychological distress.

Overview

A recent study conducted by the University of Toronto Mississauga has shown evidence that engaging in nature activities can reduce stress, anxiety and depression levels while promoting physical activity, mental well-being and social connectedness. It was concluded that regular exposure to natural environments is important for fostering resilience to psychological distress.

Methodology

The research was based on an online survey administered between May 2019 and August 2019 with a total of 1,818 participants from Canada. Data from this survey was analyzed to understand how engagement in nature activities affects mental health outcomes such as stress, anxiety and depression levels.

Findings

The results showed that those who engage more frequently in outdoor activities have lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression compared to those who do not participate in outdoor activities as often. Additionally, it was discovered that participating in outdoor activities may promote mental well-being and social connectedness while encouraging physical activity.

Conclusion

Overall, the findings suggest that regular exposure to natural environments is important for fostering resilience towards psychological distress symptoms such as stress, anxiety and depression. As such, there are multiple benefits associated with engaging in outdoor activities which should be considered when discussing strategies for improving mental health outcomes.

Recommendations

It is recommended that people incorporate more outdoor activities into their routines as often as possible so they can reap the benefits associated with being exposed to natural environments regularly. This could be done through exploring nearby parks or trails or even participating in gardening or growing plants within a home environment if access to outside spaces is limited.