What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health?

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -- George Bernard Shaw

This recent report offers some helpful insights to the mental state GBS was getting at:


Summary: Green exercise is activity in the presence of nature. Evidence shows it leads to positive short and long-term health outcomes. This multistudy analysis assessed the best regime of dose(s) of acute exposure to green exercise required to improve self-esteem and mood (indicators of mental health).


There are plenty of types of nature and greenspaces in both rural and urban areas ranging from very extensive wilderness to green belts surrounding urban-space, but all can contribute significantly to people’s health and quality of life.

I'm particularly intrigued by an overlay of an Elusive Landscape (see blogpost: Artists Multi-tasks Mother Nature) with a "typology of engagement with nature". Thus encouraging natural experiences and helping all of us get a better handle on educational curriculum that define health-deriving outcomes/benefits of nature exposure.

Even more specifically, for those of us interested in engaging multi-generations in outdoor activities, the conclusion of this report notes:

  • "The greatest change was in the youngest, with diminishing effects with age; for mood, the least change was in the young and old."
  • "The mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements. This study confirms that the environment provides an important health service."

I like to summarize in this way: when conceivable, apply the nature of rhythm divine to activate the soul; inner spirit of play will emerge.

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Comment by Randy Eady on October 19, 2010 at 8:39am
The image included with this article was the result of a "seasoned artist" -- herself living w/a severe congenital spinal condition guiding a youngster (with learning and processing issues) through creation of a self-image.

Stimulated, in part, from sensations that were felt through his body as he routinely walked on a cobblestone mat in the garden.

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