The finding jibes with the biodiversity hypothesis: contact with natural environments enriches the human microbiome, promotes the immune system, and protects from allergies and inflammation. More research is needed to confirm the theory, but the early evidence is promising.
Pichaya Peanpattanangkul / EyeEm
The quality of evidence for these links varies, but living in greener urban areas is tied to lower odds of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, being hospitalized for asthma complications, mental distress, and ultimately, mortality.
"Nature doesn't just have one or two active ingredients. It's more like a multivitamin that provides us with all sorts of the nutrients we need."
Luis Alvarez Creative #:
In 2005, University of Pittsburgh researchers reported that people who had spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during recovery if they were exposed to natural light.
Sunlight is linked to vitamin D production, the release of nitric oxide, production of beta-endorphins, and regulation of circadian rhythms. This means a better night's sleep and better mood can come from venturing into nature and basking in sunlight.