The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.

A new study from University of Waterloo researchers suggests that forest bathing, the simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you while breathing deeply, can help youth de-stress and boost health and well-being.

The study was the first ever to collect on-site, real-time survey data from adolescents about their emotional responses to various urban environments like a transit hub, residential streets, trails, parks, and waterways.

Natural urban spaces were consistently related to significantly higher scores in positive outcomes.

“While the findings may not be surprising to most people, what’s significant is that for the first time, we’re able to specifically say this is how much anxiety is reduced when kids are by a park as opposed to by a city center,” said Leia Minaker, associate professor in the School of Planning and director of the Future Cities Initiative.

After standing and looking at an urban lake for just two or three minutes, youth scores on a validated anxiousness scale decreased by nine per cent.

On the other hand, their anxiousness scores were 13 percent higher when standing in a busy downtown location for the same length of time.

Source: ScienceDaily

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