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June 16, 2007

Biodiversity And Mental Health Environment

Numerous studies have shown the mental health benefits of experiencing the natural world. For example (WorldWatch):

A nine-year survey of U.S. gall bladder patients showed that patients recovered faster and required less pain medication if their hospital windows overlooked trees rather than brick walls. Other research has indicated that inner city residents who had some nearby nature outside their apartments showed significantly lower levels of aggression and violence. Similarly, workers in buildings that contain plant life have been found to have better concentration and less anxiety on average than those working without plants.

A new study from the UK goes a step further. It's not just a question of experiencing some Nature. It's a question of the quality of the Nature experienced. The psychological benefits derived from a walk in a park are proportional to its biodiversity:

Researchers found that visitors to city parks with a greater diversity of birds, butterflies, plants, and other organisms reported feeling better than visitors to less-diverse green spaces.

The sad corollary is that the more biodiversity we destroy the unhappier and crazier we will become, the more divorced from Nature — which is to say, from reality — and hence the more willing to further destroy biodiversity. And on it goes. Consider that in conjunction with the preceding post, below.

Watching the Nature Channel doesn't count.

Posted by Jonathan at June 16, 2007 05:15 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


I’ve noticed, and my friends have too, that since I bought and moved down to my farm I've become a lot more relaxed. I work hard on my land, but being surrounded by nature does wonders for your attitude. After a long day's work sitting back on my deck with my cat at my feet while watching the hummingbirds chase each other and the trees swaying gently in the wind all of my concerns drift to the back of my mind.

Bruce from chicago

Posted by: bruce from chicago at June 17, 2007 11:39 AM