Recent studies cited by the state of New York are demonstrating the trees do much more for us than we had ever thought.
There are four primary ways, noted in these scientific studies, that time around trees heals our bodies.
Looking at Trees Lowers Our Blood Pressure
Whenever we are surrounded by trees, our blood pressure lowers. So does our adrenaline, and so does the stress-related hormone, cortisol. All of these lower when we are in wooded areas, whether we are getting exercise, walking, or simply sitting still. These studies compared the effects of these activities in unplanted urban areas vs. these activities in wooded areas. In the urban area, no reduction in stress hormones occurred, but in the forest, the cortisol, adrenaline, and blood pressure were all lessened.
Being in the Woods Helps Us Focus
Directed Attention Fatigue can happen when we try to focus on many activities at once. Spending time surrounded by trees lets our brain rests, and prevents the effects of Directed Attention Fatigue.
Trees in Cities Have the Same Impact as Remote Forests
Studies showed that parks in urban areas have the same positive effects as remote, rural forests. As long as trees are there, the restful, recuperative effects are still happening.
Hospital Patients Recover Faster When They Can See Trees
Research focused on patients who had just undergone surgery. Those in hospital rooms with views of trees had fewer post-surgical complications, took fewer painkilling medications, and had shorter hospital stays than people without those woodsy windows.