Spending time outside can change your brain (positively)

Spending time outside can change your brain (positively)

There are several scientific studies that show the power of “being outside”: it can significantly improve your mood and mental health. But according to recent research, spending time outside can actually change the structure of your brain.

For the study published in International Journal of Biological PsychiatryThe subjects were studied for a period of 6 months. The researchers wanted to know how Factors When you are outdoors, consumption of caffeinated beverages and physical activity can alter the composition of the brain. Although the number of study participants was very limited (six healthy people aged 24 to 32 were studied), this was not the case for brain scans. In total there were More than 280 brain scans conducted and analyzed.

Brain scans showed that an ‘external’ factor produced the largest changes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the part responsible for Executive JobsSuch as working memory and the ability to make decisions.

Lead researcher Simon Cohn: “The results of this study show that brain structure and mood improve when we spend time outside. Even if you go out for a short time (eg during a break at work or school), it can affect the brain. It stimulates already positively. And the more The time you spend outside, the more your brain takes advantage of it.”

nature vs. city

Another important finding is that brain changes also occurred in those who lived in the city, which is positive news for those without immediate access to a nature reserve. However, previous studies suggest that you may have city ​​park Or find streets with enough green space to enjoy the effect of being outdoors more.

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For example, a meta-analysis found that there is a significant association between better public health and access to green environments in urban areas. This result can be demonstrated in each of the seven countries studied: the United States, China, Spain, Australia, Canada, Italy and Switzerland. This shouldn’t come as a complete surprise: A green environment It reduces stress, improves your mental health, and can extend your life. Want to experience a greater health impact? Then choose to exercise outdoors! And if it’s hard for you to find a green environment, know that just listening to the sounds of nature makes you happier.

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