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Postcards from Scotland

Country walks can help reduce depression

Research from the University of Essex highlights the need to reconnect with nature
 This study showed that taking a walk in the country reduces depression in 71% of participants.  The control group, who took a walk in a shopping centre, only had 45% reductions in depression scores and 22% of participants actually felt more depressed.  Ecotherapy,the green agenda for mental health,is a therapy technique which uses outdoor spaces and nature to enhance peoples happiness and well-being. This is the first study looking at how ?green? exercise specifically affects those suffering from depression?. This study highlights the importance of exercise for depression.  What is more interesting are the highly beneficial effects of ?green? exercise.  A follow up study asked 108 people, with various mental health problems, about their experiences of ecotherapy. Of these 108 people, 94% said that green activities had benefited their mental health and lifted depression, and 90% said that it was the combination of exercise and greenerythat had helped. These results mirror claims that we need to reconnect with nature - it is important for our well-being.  Depression has risen in the Western world. Here in Scotland we spend 40% more on antidepressants than England, per year.  Ecotherapy is on the agenda for mental health and this study highlights the benefits.  Getting outdoors may not only relieve depression but may also boost well-being. To read more click  here. To read more about the benefits of a green environment click here
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