BANGOR, Wales, Aug. 10 (UPI) — A meta-analysis suggests natural environments — parks or college campuses — may have direct and positive impacts on well-being, researchers in Wales say.
Diana Bowler, Lisette Buyung-Ali, Teri Knight and Andrew Pullin, all of Bangor University in Wales, conducted a systematic review of studies comparing health or well-being during walks or runs in a natural environment versus walks or runs in a synthetic environment.
The meta-analysis, published in BMC Public Health, concludes there was some evidence of a positive benefit of a activity in a natural environment rather than a synthetic environment.
However, data on blood pressure and stress hormone — cortisol — concentrations shows less evidence of a consistent difference between environments across the studies and the researchers say further study is needed.
The review included 25 studies — mostly crossover or controlled trials that investigated the effects of short-term exposure in “natural” environments, such as public parks and green university campuses, and synthetic environments, such as indoor and outdoor built environments.
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