According to new research published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, nature may be the antidote to taking anxiety and blood pressure medications. File photo by JuergenPM/Pixabay
January 16 (UPI) — New research shows that spending time outdoors with trees, water, and everything else nature has to offer may reduce your need for anxiety and other medications.
Researchers found that enjoying nature up to four times a week reduced the likelihood of using mental health medications by 33%, according to a study published Monday in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine.
The study found that spending time in green spaces, including forests and gardens, and blue spaces, including lakes and oceans, was associated with a 36% lower likelihood of using blood pressure medications and a 26% lower likelihood of using asthma medications. I understand.
Researchers interviewed about 6,000 people living in large Finnish cities about their access to and use of green and blue spaces such as parks, zoos, rivers and lakes. We also asked if they enjoy nature views from their homes.
Respondents were asked how often they spend time outdoors and where they exercise. The study also took into account other variables such as traffic-related outdoor air pollution and noise. Respondents were then asked about their use of medications for anxiety, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, or insomnia.
“Considering the availability or active use of green space, physical activity is considered to be an important factor in mediating the health benefits of green space,” says the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki. Study co-author Ann Turunen, a senior researcher, said. in a statement.
“Analysis can reveal important associations, but whether it was the proximity to green spaces that reduced drug use,” said Lincoln Larson, an associate professor at the University of Natural Resources in North Carolina. Or if it was due to its use, I can’t say for sure.” University.
“Perhaps people who were originally healthy were more likely to be outdoors in the first place,” Larson added.
The study cautions that some evidence is inconsistent, but overall it found that “exposure to the natural environment is believed to be beneficial to human health.”
“Lower frequency of psychotropic, antihypertensive, and asthma drug use in urban settings was associated with green space rather than the amount of green or blue space in the home or the green and blue views from the home. It was a frequent visit,” concludes the study.