Home » Opinion » Editorials
Peace of mind: What rural folks already know
Take a hike if you know what's good for you. That's not a threat from a 1950's mafia movie. It's science.
Psychologists at the University of Kansas and the University of Utah wanted to study the connection between brain function and spending time in nature. As the Los Angeles Times reported last month, the psychologists studied Outward Bound participants who spent four to six days in the woods. The subjects were forbidden from using any electronic devices while on their hikes. Participants were split into groups, with one taking a mental agility test before entering the woods, the other after several days "off the grid." Those who were tested after four days in the woods scored 50 percent better than their counterparts who were tested before going in.
The authors concluded that "higher-order cognitive skills improve with sustained exposure to a natural environment."
That is only one study, but it is consistent with others that have shown a positive connection between attention levels and exposure to nature. For example, a University of Michigan study found that participants who took a long walk in a park performed better on a mental skills test than did those who took a long walk in the city.
New Hampshire is the second most forested state in the nation. Maybe that is one reason why our students consistently perform above the national average in national standardized tests. (Students in Maine, the most-forested state, also perform above average, but not as well as New Hampshire students do.)
Most Granite Staters know that living among the hills, rivers, forests and mountains is good for the soul and the body. We also know what it can do for our peace of mind. Now scientists are confirming that it can improve creativity, attention span and mental function. Nice of them to catch up to us.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Pat Buchanan: For what should Americans die? - 0
- Your Turn, NH: Common Core will be a costly burden for students, taxpayers - 10
- Jonah Goldberg: The IRS was only following Obama's lead - 15
- Another View -- Glenn Normandeau: Protecting endangered non-game species a NH success story - 1
- Charles Krauthammer: Redacted truth, subjunctive outrage - 0
- David Harsanyi: Get the IRS out of the speech business altogether - 10
- Another View -- Ryan Gallagher: The U.S. government spies on reporters all too frequently - 4
- John Stossel: Who has true grit anymore? - 0
- Another View: New Hampshire would take a risky bet on casinos - 7
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NHIAA boxscores, summaries for May 20, 2013 - 0
- Police say man held girlfriend in car, arrest him - 0
- Overtime puts stress on Nashua police budget - 0
- Manchester, church group seek accord on breakfast for homeless - 1
- Ky. Sen. Rand Paul to NH GOP: Let's look like America - 2
- Man gunned down on Manchester street was talented graffiti artist - 0
- Experts weigh in on UNH logo designs - 0
- Two had a NH history before brutal Bedford attack - 0
- Derry marks a soldier's death - 0
Memorial Day Observances 2013
Texting + driving = deadly consequences
Bedford's Shapiro hits lacrosse milestone
Goffstown holds off on school borrowing
For the people: A century of the NH primary
Experts weigh in on UNH logo designs
Not so merry: Giving Robin Hood a bad name