Time in nature… appears to have a dose curve. Five minutes is good; a thirty-minute stroll is better. When you combine exercise and nature, the effects get bigger.—Florence Williams
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Naturalist Perspectives portion of Biology 1 this semester. In case you’ve been wondering, yes, there was an ulterior motive for the outdoor component of our course; it’s nicely summed up by the title of a recent WIRED article: “You Spend 5 Percent of Your Day Outside. Try Making It More.” Recent research has shown that contact with nature has a variety “health benefits,” and rather than spend more hours this semester in a windowless classroom, it seemed better for you to embrace opportunities to gain these benefits.
If you’d like to know more about the connection between human wellbeing and time spent in the natural world, here are a few reading suggestions:
- The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
- Your Brain on Nature by Alan C. Logan and Eva M. Selhub
- Go Wild by John Ratey and Richard Manning
And if you’re curious about the relationship between physical activity and wellbeing, here are a couple books on that topic:
- Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey
- The First Twenty Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds
I hope you all get good doses of nature this summer and beyond!