12 science-backed reasons you should spend more time outside


Hiking Switzerland

BergeIm Licht/Shutterstock

Follow that road out your door - it'll be good for you.


Many people spend their workdays indoors under fluorescent lights and in front of computers, then return home to bask in the glow of television screens.

But spending too much time inside isn't good for us. And nature is beneficial - maybe essential - for human health. Psychologists and health researchers are finding more and more science-backed reasons we should spend time outside.

In her recent book, "The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative," journalist Florence Williams writes that she started investigating the health benefits of nature after moving from the mountainous terrain of Boulder, Colorado, to what she describes as "the anti-Arcadia that is the nation's capital" - Washington, DC.

"I felt disoriented, overwhelmed, depressed," she writes. "My mind had trouble focusing. I couldn't finish thoughts. I couldn't make decisions and I wasn't keen to get out of bed."


We don't all need to live in a place as stunning as Boulder - and most of us can't get live anywhere too remote for smartphones or internet access.

But we do need to spend time in natural environments. That could be beautiful hiking trails or even just a nice park. Here's why it's so important to do so.