20-minute strolls in the park is one of the best stress-busters doctors can prescribe, research finds




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A 20-MINUTE stroll through a park is one of the best stress-busters doctors can prescribe, research suggests.

Connecting with nature was found to improve wellbeing and calm.

A stroll through a park is one of the best stress-busters, a study has found
Alamy Live News

Spending between 20-30 minutes near trees and flowers lowered stress hormones by around ten per cent.

Scientists said the benefits continued after half an hour but at a reduced rate, The Times reported. Study leader Mary Carol Hunter, of the University of Michigan, said: “For the greatest payoff, in terms of efficiently lowering levels of (stress hormone) cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature.


“Getting out of an office block and sitting next to a tree can be enough.”

Dr Hunter said GPs could prescribe “nature pills” — recommendations that anxious patients spend time somewhere green. The research emerged after calls for nature walks to be used as a low-cost remedy for mental illnesses and high blood pressure.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that more people with dementia should be offered music and dance therapy.

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