What Dose of Nature Do We Need to Feel Better?

I think this kind of analysis is good, but there’s also a part of me that feels like the answer is simple… more! Any is better than none. More is better than some.

The Dirt

central-park Central Park, New York City / Drive the District

There has been a boom in studies demonstrating the health benefits of spending time in nature, or even just looking at nature. But a group of ambitious landscape architects and psychologists are actually trying to determine how to actually prescribe a “nature pill.” The big remaining questions are: What dose of nature exposure is needed to achieve maximum mental and physical health benefits (how long and how frequently)? And what form of nature works best? In a talk at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference in Los Angeles, MaryCarol Hunter, ASLA, a landscape architect and ecologist at the University of Michigan, described her efforts to create guidelines for landscape designs that can lead to the greatest impact.

Hunter and her team examined 44 people over 8 weeks. She asked them to go out and immerse themselves in…

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