Spending more time around trees is scientifically proven to be good for your health

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Being out in the woods is measurably good for your health.

Seriously, the scientists have looked into it.

From 2004 to 2012 Japanese officials spent $4million dollars studying the effects of being around trees - the result of which was 48 trails were designated 'therapy trails'.

Researchers at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo measured the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells before and after the hosts were among forestry.

NK cells provide a response to viral-infected cells, tumor formation and are generally seen as your friends when it comes to your immune system and fighting off cancer.

The Nippon Medical School study found that these cells were far more active for the week after visiting a forest, with positive effects lasting for a month after a weekend in the woods.

The reason why is pretty interesting. Trees emit various oils called phyoncide, which we inhale and seems to assist our immune function.

The effects of a long walk in the woods aren't only physiological. A study of 498 health volunteers found that with exposure to trees came significantly reduced hostility and depression scores, and increased liveliness.

The researchers wrote:

Accordingly, forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.

It seems a walk in the wilderness really does do you a world of good.

HT Quartz

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