What is nature and how does it affect our health? Well this is one major question that we are coming across these days in relation to have a proper mental health. If we try to understand the meaning of nature in terms of dictionary definition then it clearly states nature as the natural physical world including plants, animals and landscapes etc. It refers to the phenomena of the physical world. In general terms it is also referred to the method related with inanimate objects and the manner in which the particular kind of things exist and change of their own harmony.
Now looking at the present scenario, today if we try to relate the term nature in relation to health then it will not be wrong. Plants represent a vital element of the original ecological system in which the human species evolved. Perhaps the time has come when we all take a close look at the impact of nature on the health of communities and individuals. Since the evolution of life, the nature has always featured as key components in health promotion models. Our relationship with nature is like a basic component that helps in sustaining good health.
As per the recent study conducted in UK, it was found that more than 75% of people live in urban areas and as a result the detachment with nature has contributed to a drastic rise in mental health problems. Roger Ulrich one of the pioneers of research in this area conducted an experiment to explain that patients suffering and recovering from identical operations were more likely to recover quickly if they had a daily view of nature from their hospital beds.
Studies in this field have also shown that well-being and levels of psychological and physiological stress are significantly influenced by our natural surroundings. These days nature is widely used as an element or modern therapy for people who are suffering from physical and mental health problems. In order to improve your mood, now concepts like hospital therapy gardens, wilderness trips for people bearing from ruthless stress have all shown positive effects on patients. Moreover in past few years, it has also been found that horticultural therapy have a growing body of research data which points to the many mental benefits of engaging with nature.
Research from Netherland and Japan has also revealed that people living close to green ambience live longer and enjoy better and healthy life. A Swedish study concluded that if office personnel could view greenery through their office windows, then it further significantly reduce the stress during their working days.
Latest studies from Germany and Australia have also confirmed the capacity of ecosystem of plants to perform as powerful air purifiers. Virginia Lohr at Washington University performed a computer based test on students, and observed that the systolic blood pressure was lower, and measured the performance level. It was found that the reaction time during the test was higher, if plants were present in the computer lab.
From an economical point of view, it should be of great interest to establish a green surrounding that can benefit your mental health by providing opportunities to be physically active both in terms of physical and mental health.