I was paging through a copy of the AARP Bulletin (not mine … yet) and came across an interesting little article about the benefits of spending time in nature by Richard Louv. Louv wrote the book Last Child in the Woods, which introduced the concept of “nature-deficit disorder”. He writes:
A growing body of research links more time in nature — or in home, work or hospital environments enhanced through nature-based design — with reduction of stress and depression, faster healing time and less need for pain medication.
Health care professionals are taking note. In 2010, a pilot program in Portland, Ore., began pairing physicians with park professionals, who helped children and families get their green exercise or, as I call it, their dose of “vitamin N.”
Other benefits of vitamin N include enhanced use of the senses and higher work productivity. In 2008, University of Michigan researchers demonstrated that, after just an hour interacting with nature, memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent. In April, researchers at the University of Kansas reported a 50 percent boost in creativity for people who were steeped in nature for a few days.
Michigan is blessed with an amazing amount of opportunities to slip into nature for ten minutes or ten days so what’s stopping you?? Check out books and more at Richard Louv’s website.
More nature on Michigan in Pictures!