The Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors

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As a resident of Perth, Australia, you can appreciate the weather as for most of the year it is more than pleasant. The city has heat, and heat waves, but apart from the excessively hot days, people aren’t caged inside like you would be if it was bitterly cold. There are more than 260 sunny days in Perth annually and that makes activities outdoors common for most people. Spending time in your garden that has had the benefit of a nice landscape design can be surprisingly good for you.

What is probably not known is that there are benefits to being outdoors that have been scientifically proven.

FACTS

Being outside improves short term memory.

A study by a US university found that test subjects got 20% better scores on tests they were given after a short walk through trees and outside in sunshine. Similar studies found that depressed individuals increased their working memory after a short walk outside.

Increased Mental Energy

The Journal of Environmental Psychology stated that natural beauty boosts mental energy as well as making a person feel at one with nature. Other studies found that being in a restorative environment, such as outside in nature, increases your mental energy.

Lower Cortisol and Lower Heart rate

Cortisol is the hormone that causes stress, and if you want to reduce your levels and also lower your heart rate, then spending some time outside in nature will help greatly. Multiple sources such as the Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine and Biomedical Environmental Sciences have reported this sort of information.

Improved Children’s Vision

If you encourage your kids to play outside more it will help protect their vision. An Australian study conducted on 2000 schoolchildren found that the longer children spent outdoors, the lower their chances of developing myopia or near-sightedness. A Taiwan group did a similar study and found that outdoor play reduced the chances of myopia by 10% in a single year. These amazing benefits were reported in Ophthalmology in both 2012 and 2013.

Experiencing these health benefits yourself

Our existing lifestyle and work commitments tend to make it difficult to spend lots of time outdoors. But all is not lost. There is an answer to the problem and it can provide you more outdoor time for your family. Speak to a professional landscape designer about creating your outdoor living space. We’re not talking about a few chairs on the patio, but a full scale outdoor area that can include an outdoor kitchen, an alfresco eating area and places for entertainment and spending time with the family. Family time is important so you get double benefits with improved health by spending more time outdoors.

Residents of not only Perth, but most other Australian cities have a great opportunity to make the ‘lucky country’ a ‘healthy country’ as well.

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