A natural antidote to a harried urban life

by Katherine Fleming

For many, it is an intangible feeling: that an early morning walk in the park lifts the spirits, a swim in the ocean is restorative, that hearing magpies warbling in bushland brings a sense of calm.

The Japanese have a name for it — Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing — which describes the mental and physical benefits of spending time in nature, a practice that is now a well-accepted therapy.

Some doctors elsewhere in the world have also been known to prescribe it, as they would a drug.

A recent Australian study determined the “dose” needed to have an effect on depression and high blood pressure, finding 30 minutes a week could reduce both, by up to 7 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

But the question of exactly how the natural world has such a profound effect on just about every system in the human body — and the risks we face as we increasingly move indoors — will be the focus of the inaugural Nature Play conference in Fremantle tomorrow.

Read the full story at The West Australian

We Acknowledge
Nature Play WA acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation, as the custodians of the land where our team lives and works. We also acknowledge the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and recognise the continuing connection of Indigenous people to their land, waters, sky, culture and community. We pay our respect to all Indigenous people of this land; ancestors, elders and young ones.