Nature: A prescription for health

Nature: Prescribed By Doctors Everywhere

A comical video seen on social media, Nature Rx (click here to link to view video), is the inspiration for this 0968373001601309949.jpgblog.  The video is a parody of prescription drug commercials seen on TV. It jokes and makes claims about health benefits of nature, but there is quite a bit of thinly veiled truth within this video.

While exercise alone has long been shown to have positive impacts on physical and mental health, let’s take a look at what research reports regarding the added benefits of Nature:

A systematic reviews published in 2011 & 2014 compared exercising indoors to exercising outdoors in a natural environment.  It was concluded that exercising outdoors, not only, increased energy, positive attitude and increased feelings of revitalization compared to exercising indoors, it found that exercising outdoors in a natural environment decreased tension, feelings of anger, confusion and depression.  

Another study put participants on a treadmill and had them view urban and rural images projected on the wall in front of participants. This study broke down into five groups. One group was control exercise with no images, one was rural outdoor environment that was pleasant, one was rural outdoors unpleasant, one was urban outdoors pleasant and the final group was urban outdoors unpleasant. With no surprise, all exercise groups improved in measures of blood pressure, mood and self-esteem. Exercise in the pleasant outdoor environments had a significant positive effect on mood and self-esteem.  The especially interesting finding was that threats to the countryside as depicted in the rural unpleasant scenes had a significantly negative and depressing effect on mood.

Another study had one group take walks outdoors in nature and another group take the same length of walk in a shopping mall.  The findings of the study reported that 71% of the participants of the “walks in nature group” reduced measures of depression scores, while only 45% of the participants in the “walks in shopping mall group” showed reduced scores of depression and 22% of he “walks in shopping mall group” actually increased depression scores.

Your doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic believe that getting outdoors for play and exercise is fun and healthy.  Fortunately, here in Bozeman, the air is clean and outdoor recreational and exercise opportunities are abundant.  Get out there an enjoy the outdoors and feel free to talk to your doctor if you need exercise advise or care for injuries.  

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