In every walk in nature, man receives much more than what he is looking for. “JOHN MUIR
The best weapon to combat stress is nature. According to the University of Michigan study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, spending at least 20 minutes a day in contact with the green would be enough to reduce the main stress hormone, cortisol.
“We knew that spending time immersed in nature has anti-sterss effects, but so far it was not known in what” doses “and in what way” to “take” contact with nature, “says Mary Carol Hunter, who led the work. “Our study shows that the greatest results are obtained by spending 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in any place that gives us a sense of closeness to nature”.
The research was conducted on a group of volunteers who for eight weeks had to spend time in natural places, like a park, but without playing sports, chatting with friends or doing other activities that may already have an influence on the stress. The concentration of cortisol in saliva has been measured on several occasions by the volunteers. It has emerged that the hormone decreases starting from the 20 minutes spent in contact with nature; the concentration decreases in proportion to the time spent up to a maximum drop of 30 minutes of immersion in nature.
“Clinicians can use our results as an evidence-based rule to determine how to prescribe contact with nature,” says Hunter. “Our study provides the first estimates of how the experience in contact with nature impacts stress levels in the context of normal daily life”.