Nature's call to the elderly: Spending time in green, woody areas beneficial, says study!

The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Apr 11, 2017, 19:14 PM IST
Nature's call to the elderly: Spending time in green, woody areas beneficial, says study!

New Delhi: Having an interpersonal relationship with nature is known to be good for the mind and body and in general, for overall well-being.

Spending time outdoors is a relaxation technique many people around the world use to destress, while some also prefer working out in the midst of greenery instead of going to a gym.

A study, however, has suggested that nature may just be the best thing for the elderly. As per the study, a walk in the woods and green spaces is likely to trigger changes in the levels of excitement, engagement and frustration in the brains of the elderly people living in urban areas.

The findings have important implications for architects, planners and health professionals as the world deals with an ageing population, the researchers said.

"Urban green space has a role to play in contributing to a supportive city environment for older people through mediating the stress induced by built up settings," said Chris Neale, research student at the University of York.

The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

For the study, the team recruited eight volunteers aged 65 and over and gave them a mobile electroencephalography (EEG) head-set which recorded their brain activity while walking through busy and green urban spaces.

The study revealed that the participants experienced beneficial effects of green space and preferred it, as it was calming and quieter.

"In a time of austerity, when greens spaces are possibly under threat, we have demonstrated that these areas are important to people's health. Maintaining access to green space could be a relatively low-cost option for improving mental well being of the elderly," Neale said.

(With IANS inputs)