Monday, February 02, 2009


Now scientists have shown that "interacting with nature", even in the middle of winter, boosts memory and concentration levels.

In fact, just an hour strolling through countryside increases the brain's performance by a fifth

In contrast a walk through busy streets, perhaps shopping for sales bargains, has no improving effect on the brain at all.

The research was carried out at the University of Michigan.

One group was sent out on a 50-minute walk through streets lined with office buildings and busy with traffic while the other took a secluded, tree-lined route.
Afterwards the volunteers' mental skills were assessed in a series of tests, and compared to their performance before setting off on the walks.

Results showed that those who took the "nature route" improved their short-term memory by 20 per cent.
There were no improvements after walking down city streets.

It is thought that the countryside is "restorative" because it allows people to switch off, while walking in towns and cities requires attention.

Marc Berman, a researcher at the University of Michigan, suggested a dose of nature can help cure mental fatigue.

"I would highly recommend going away for a little break in the country or simply going for a walk in a park in a town," he said. "

Our research has shown that this really is not subjective – the effects on memory and attention are real."

The research, published in the journal Psychological Science, also found memory and attention improved after simply looking at pictures of nature rather than photos of built-up areas.

Mr Berman added: "Interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating.

You don't hear people say,
'Well, I got really tired out looking at this beautiful waterfall'.

Nature does not make any demands of you.'"


Over and over the answers to our needs are all around us if only we had the wit to see!

No comments: