Why are outdoor spaces important for our mental and physical health?
30th April 2021
The pandemic has emphasised the positive influence outdoor spaces have on our mental and physical health.
Social distancing for months at a time takes its toll on our overall well being. Frankly, it can all come down to focussing on building mental fortitude and physical fitness to stay positive and proactive during the ups and downs of the pandemic.
A study conducted by the National Garden Scheme shows spending time in outdoor spaces, such as gardens, forests, parks, rivers and fields, helped us tame our worries and stay active during the first lockdown. And they still are! Now, let’s explore how.
Gardening acts as at-home therapy
We are in the middle of a lockdown-encouraged gardening revolution. Besides cultivating fruit and vegetables as a new hobby, gardening and being surrounded by beautiful plants is a powerful therapeutic tool. They encourage sensory experiences, lifting our mood. Even small back gardens can be transformed into vegetable patches or flowery havens.
Recovery from mental and physical fatigue
For many, a comfy seating area with a bench, beanbag or hammock provides a peaceful place to sit and talk, read or craft in the garden. Adding elements of water and fire, such as incorporating a water fountain or multi-purpose fire pit, provides a soothing visual aid for recovering from mental and physical fatigue.
92% of respondents from a recent study mentioned their gardens were ‘extremely important’ to their health and wellbeing during the lockdown.
Nature is the ultimate stress reliever
Green and blue spaces beyond home also play a key role in our ability to cope in stressful times. Heading to the local park helps us feel part of the community around us. Watching a river flow by empties our minds in a meditative sense. And, of course, there is less air pollution, which has been linked to depression and bipolar disorder.
Outdoor spaces encourage physical fitness
Playing outdoors with children; chasing, jumping and climbing playground equipment develops agility and stamina. Perhaps a ‘catch me if you can’ game with your furry pet can get you moving and active. Studies say that physical activity outdoors also lowers blood pressure, and fresh air alleviates insomnia.
The importance of outdoor spaces is unsurprisingly influencing the property market. Our estate agents are seeing droves of people moving out of cities to greener pastures. Others are looking for homes with larger gardens or creative outdoor working spaces to enjoy the undeniable benefits of outdoor living spaces during the pandemic.
Furthermore, green buffer zones that space out homes with nature in residential areas are in talks. This industry-wide ‘green focus’ is likely to only grow, as those in sustainable neighbourhoods are noted to experience lower levels of mental stress than those in urban areas.
If you would like to find out the value of your home, you can book a completely free property appraisal with Hunters in Mid Sussex at https://www.hunters-group.co.uk/ or call us on 01444 254400 for any selling and/or buying advice you may need.