Benefits Of Trees

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You know that serene, calm ‘good feeling’ you get from the forest. It’s not just in your imagination. Some interesting health benefits have been reported from ‘hanging with the trees’… here are some reports from scientific research on the health benefits of trees!

Boosts Immune System: When we breathe fresh air, we breathe the airborne chemicals phytocides that are released by plants to keep the insects away. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal properties. According to one study reported that exposure to phytoncides significantly increases the human natural killer cells activity and amount of natural killer cells in the body. [1] Natural killer cells kill tumor and virus-infected cells in the body.

Lowers Stress And Blood Pressure: Research has shown that green exercise can boost human health. It has also been linked with a decrease in blood pressure and a lower level of the stress hormone, cortisol, and adrenaline. A study has highlighted that forest walking reduces the resting blood pressure, mental stress, and stress markers in young and adults. [2]

Improve Cognitive Function: Modern-day busy scheduling along with the focus on one single job can result in a phenomenon called directed attention fatigue that can mentally drain us. Spending time in nature has been associated with improved cognitive functioning. [3] Another study has also found that green walk improved the self-esteem of participants and positive mood changes in both young and adults. [4]

Improve The Mental Health Of Children: Outdoor activity in the natural environment can improve the mental health of the children. A study has reported that outdoor activities in the natural environment have physical and psychological health benefits for the children. [5] Such activities have also been linked with an improved response in the treatment of brain disorders like attention-deficit disorder.

White Noise: such as that generated by wind in the trees, waterfalls or the ocean has been shown to be beneficial to health and restfulness. It seems to be good for the brain! Get some nature time in as often as you can and notice the benefits to your wellbeing.

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References:

[1] Li, Q., et al., Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology, 2009. 22(4): p. 951-959. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/039463200902200410

[2] Horiuchi, M., et al., Influence of forest walking on blood pressure, profile of mood states, and stress markers from the viewpoint of aging. J Aging Gerontol, 2013. 1: p. 9-17. http://www.savvysciencepublisher.com/jms/index.php/JAG/article/view/34

[3] Berman, M.G., J. Jonides, and S. Kaplan, The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychol Sci, 2008. 19(12): p. 1207-12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19121124/

[4] Barton, J. and J. Pretty, What is the best dose of nature and green exercise for improving mental health? A multi-study analysis. Environ Sci Technol, 2010. 44(10): p. 3947-55. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20337470/

[5] Lee, J., et al., Effect of forest bathing on physiological and psychological responses in young Japanese male subjects. Public health, 2011. 125(2): p. 93-100. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0033350610003203


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