Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Forest run better than the gym for anxiety

A run through the forest is much better for your mental health then running on a treadmill at the gym, scientists have discovered.

Researchers found that a natural environment of trees and greenery offered a 50% improvement on exercising within a gym setting and had a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety.

Glasgow University’s Prof Richard Mitchell, said he was "surprised" by the scale of the results, adding: "There was around a 50% improvement in people’s mental health if they were physically active in the natural environment, compared to those who weren't. These aren't serious mental health issues, more struggles in general life, things like mild depression, not being able to sleep, high stress levels or just feelings of not being able to cope.

"It seems that woodland and forest seem to have the biggest effect on helping to lower mental health problems,” he said in the Telegraph online.

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