No Time For Walks? Just Watching Nature Videos At Home Can Improve Mental Health, Claims Study

No Time For Walks? Just Watching Nature Videos At Home Can Improve Mental Health, Claims Study

If you’re unable to spare time for a calming stroll in the park, consider opting for a nature video as an alternative. A new study claims watching nature on a screen could help improve mental health too.

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What Does The Study Claim?

Nature Videos Inside Can Improve Mental Health

A recent research study discovered that observing even a short video featuring natural landscapes notably enhanced the mental well-being of viewers, particularly when compared to the impact of viewing urban settings.

The study concentrated on the phase of late adolescence, which has recently been linked to notable mental health challenges, such as depression and thoughts of self-harm, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authors of the study wrote, “Adolescence is a time of multiple transitions and a vulnerability period for mental health difficulties.” They continued, “There are many barriers to the treatment of mental health conditions … One approach is to use nature-based interventions (NBIs) to improve mental wellbeing.”

According to the study, approximately half of all mental health disorders originate during adolescence, and around three-quarters start by the age of 24.

Where Was The Study Published?

The study was published in Nature: Scientific Reports. 

Why Does The Study Suggest Watching Nature Videos?

Nature Videos Inside Can Improve Mental Health

The findings of the study revealed that the group exposed to the brief nature video experienced notably reduced stress levels in comparison to the urban group. Furthermore, the positive effects on stress reduction were sustained over time and appeared to enhance with each subsequent session.

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Moreover, the group viewing the nature video also exhibited improvements in relaxation levels and attention spans. Nonetheless, the levels of depression, as termed by the researchers as “depressive rumination,” did not exhibit improvement in either group.

This implies that a short video may not be as effective as physically spending time in nature in terms of enhancing mental well-being, as suggested by the study authors.

According to the study authors, these findings may hold significant implications for communities with limited or no access to natural environments, particularly in low-income urban regions, prisons, or medical institutions.

How Was The Study Conducted?

Nature Videos Inside Can Improve Mental Health

In order to assess the potential impact of these videos on mental health, the researchers assembled 76 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 and divided them randomly into two groups. One group was shown a video portraying a stroll through a natural setting, while the other group viewed a scene depicting urban train commuters.

Each video had a duration of six minutes, incorporating audio relevant to the content, such as the chirping of birds and the sound of waterfalls in the nature video, and the clamor of trains in the urban video.

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