Looking At Nature Makes Your Brain Work Better

Usually, when it comes to anything Chris Mooney writes, I’m blasting him as the uber-Warmist he is, along with the material. However, this one is actually pretty interesting

Just looking at nature can help your brain work better, study finds

While still relatively novel in the United States, so-called “green roofs” — urban rooftops covered with grasses, plants and other types of greenery — are becoming increasingly popular around the world. In France, newly built commercial rooftops must sport either greenery or solar panels, according to a recent law. Facebook, meanwhile, recently installed a massive 9-acre green roof at its office in Menlo Park, Calif.

FYI, I have no problems with this, except for the Government mandate part.

The logic is obvious: Green roofs can reduce the retention of heat in urban areas, help to cool down buildings and thereby lower their energy use, and even pull some carbon dioxide from the air and feed it back into plant growth. Plus, they look cool.

Agree on all counts.

But the psychological benefits of green roofs to busy office workers may also be substantial, according to new research. In a study published in the journal Environmental Psychology, the University of Melbourne’s Kate Lee and a group of colleagues found that interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second “microbreak” — in which one simply looks at a computerized image of a green roof — improved focus as well as subsequent performance on the task.

The research adds to a growing scientific literature on the health advantages— psychological and otherwise — of being exposed to views of nature in urban settings, for instance through the presence of parks or trees. Research in this area is so far along, in fact, that researchers are considering whether it might be possible to identify the right “dose” of nature that people need to receive in order to actually reap significant health benefits.

Interesting, yes? Personally, I have no problem with cities using a bit of money to create little “green spaces”, as well as creating/maintaining parks. Nature is good for us. I bought my townhome, even though I don’t necessarily like the layout as much as some others (tiny bathrooms, TV above the fireplace), because it backs up right to nature. I have a huge backyard (shared by others in an “L” shape, and lots of trees, as well as a pond which runs off from the Neuse River. Though, the noise from the geese, ducks, and especially the frogs can make sure you leave the windows closed at night.

But that’s not the only option — Lee thinks the findings are generalizable beyond green roofs. “Viewing different types of nature (parks and forests) can also boost attention, research shows,” she commented. “Based on this we would hypothesize that other types of urban greening that show similar vegetation characteristics to those studied previously may also boost attention.”

I watch the sky, I love listening to birds, watching trees blow in the wind. A healthy dose of nature is fantastic.

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One Response to “Looking At Nature Makes Your Brain Work Better”

  1. Phil Taylor says:

    This post reinforces that not all AGW skeptics are non-environmentalists. In fact, my oservance is that most are enviroment friendly.
    However, I have also observed that many AGW supporters are not any more environmentally friendly than the rest of us. They are however, very politically
    left leaning and wish to use AGW to promote their political agenda, which when talking to them seem to be far more important to them.

    This explains why many are only interested in a carbon tax and cap and trade as a solution, intead of research and development into finding a superior form of clean energy.

    Common ground can be found between AGW supporters and skeptics simply from changing the strategy from tax to innovation.
    All skeptics would quickly adapt to better cheaper forms of energy if made possible. They will not adapt and will find ways not to comply with solutions that tax them, and offer no real reductions in man made C02.

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