‘Our bodies like being in a natural environment’
On the same theme as last week’s blog, ‘tending to your emotional garden’, it felt relevant to share some very new research from Glasgow University which confirms the benefits of regular exercise in green spaces.
Just putting walking back into daily life would make a big difference to everyone’s mental health. Adding to this, the benefits of being outdoors, in nature itself, brings further biological and psychological benefits that help protect against mental ill health.
Walking is also good for talking intimately because it isn’t face-to-face. The countryside helps you relax.
What if it’s difficult to get outdoors?
For people with physical disabilities:
“Research shows that for people with physical disabilities or in hospital or in care homes, a virtual green environment can provide the same mentally restorative effects as nature”
Stone B., Professor of Interactive Multimedia Systems & psychologist.
Adding different sounds, smells and other stimuli to virtual scenes seems to relax people, draw them in and promote memories, having an immersive & restorative effect.
“As soon as you add bird song, babbling brooks, insects buzzing by, particularly the sounds of waves on the shore, the whole virtual experience is transformed”
For people with dementia:
“Residential care homes can be very protective and unwilling to take risks. It’s safer and easier just to keep everybody indoors. But people have lost sight of the importance to the individual of being outdoors and in direct contact with nature” explains the founder of Dementia Adventure.
See link to www.dementiaadventure.co.uk
Dementia Adventure specialises in green therapy programmes and adventure holidays for people with dementia and their carers.