Study: Connecting with Nature Boosts Mental Health and Well-Being


Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society
August 2, 2013

According to researchers from the University of Michigan, outdoor recreation is associated with higher mental well-being among veterans. These benefits seem to be long-lasting for many, suggesting the feel-good vibe of natural sticks with you even after you’ve gone inside.

Over the past ten years, we’ve seen a significant swell in the number of men and women who have seen active duty battle. The immortal boogieman, the “War on Terror”, has sent thousands off to war and brought many back physically, mentally, and emotionally damaged. Many of these veterans struggle to adjust to civilian life once again and this alone has led to a soaring suicide rate among veterans. While recovering after war is certainly a multi-pronged approach, a new study suggests spending time outdoors should play a central role.

“The findings suggest that extended group-based nature recreation can have significant positive impacts on veterans struggling with serious health problems,” said researcher Jasom Duvall. “Although more research is needed and many questions remain, the use of extended group-based outdoor recreation programs to ease veterans’ transition back into civilian life seems to be a promising approach.”


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