The graduate students from the Stanford University conducted a research that discovered that people who walk through a nice and green part of the campus were more alert and cheerful afterwards than the other group that walks for the same amount of time with the difference that the second group walks by the loud highway.
All people who were involved in the research walked at their own tempo and without music or other people in their company. Each of the volunteers was supposed to go the lab after their walk and answer to a questionnaire and undergo a brain scan, so that their level of cheerfulness and alertness after the walk could be measured.
The fact that walking along the highway did not soothe the participants’ minds as the walking in nature is not surprising. The participants who walked in the area of the Stanford campus were measured to have less blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for the repetitive thought or the negative emotions. In the brains of the participants who walked along the highway the level of the blood flow in these regions of the brain remained high.
The author of this research was Gregory Bratman, a graduate student at the above mentioned university, at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources department. He stated for the New York Times that these discoveries firmly propose that getting out in natural surrounding may be an easy and suitable method for the people in the cities to improve their mood.
Still, Bratman stressed that this research is only a starting point and more research needs to be done in order to determine how much time in the nature should be spent so that a person improves their mental health and which components and aspects from the nature actually sooth people.
HOW MUCH WALKING SHOULD A PERSON DO PER DAY?
The person’s mental and physical health depends to a great level on the movement and exercise. Namely, the more a person is physically active, the better their mental and physical health is. The ATTN has recently said that the health community usually encourages people to walk about 10,000 steps a day, or about five miles.
According to researchers, it takes about 2,000 steps on average for a person to walk a mile. Unfortunately, Americans walk only about a half of the recommended amount of 10,000 steps, Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center says. She has declared for Live Science that the average American only walks near 5,900 steps daily.
Nevertheless, numerous other nations walk much more than the Americans on a daily basis. There was a previous research about Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that was based upon the two-day pedometer results of many grown up people and it was found out that Americans only walk about 5,117 steps per day, while Australians from western Australia for example walk about 9,700 steps, people in Switzerland walk about 9,650 steps, and Japanese walk about 7,168 steps per day on average.
The leader of the research, Dr. David R. Bassett Jr., has informed the New York Times that he did not expect that Americans were so inactive. He has mentioned a research from the 2004, according to which Amish folks are almost on the top of the list of nations that walk the most. They are ahead of Americans and many other nations and it was said that male adults from the Amish farming communities walk about 20,000 steps a day and female Amish adults walk around 14,000 steps a day on average.
The remaining values are nearly one third of how much Amish people from the farming communities walk, Bassett concluded. It advocates that in the last century and a half, people have started walking much less.
The Mayo Clinic says that the usual brisk walking benefits the maintaining of the healthy weight, improves the mood, the balance and the synchronization and it also strengthens the bones.