Just watching nature through a window is good for you [video]

This short video from Project Wild Thing at The Wild Network provides a neat summary of some of the benefits of nature that can be experienced simply from seeing it through windows, let alone actually being outdoors. They say:

A few little known, but proven nature facts*
When people tell you to take a breath of fresh air, or get outside to clear your head, there’s truth in their well-meaning words. Did you know that a view of nature has been proven to:

  • Help patients in hospital recover faster and require fewer painkillers than those who look out over a city
  • Help prisoners to have lower stress symptoms and fewer illnesses than those without a view
  • Help university students score better on tests than those without
  • Enable workers who see trees and flowers be less stresses and report fewer illnesses

And that’s just a view of nature
If you go INTO nature the effects get better:

  • Being among plants helps lower the stress hormone and reduce blood pressure
  • People who meet in nature build a sense of community and their prejudices about race or economic status are reduced.
  • Time in green settings reduces children’s
  • ADHD symptoms

The more nature we get in childhood the more we want as adults.

  • And the less we get as children, the less we want as adults.
  • Time spent outdoors gives us a sense of one-ness with nature – and with the universe.
  • And being in nature can lead to transcendental experiences. 

* They don’t provide the sources for these ‘facts’ but the information given roughly corresponds with research I describe in Technobiophilia.

4 thoughts on “Just watching nature through a window is good for you [video]”

    1. Thanks for sharing this John, it’s extremely interesting. I especially like your observation that ‘By putting the sheet of silicon dioxide between the body and the storm, a sort of virtual world appeared -― one that could be seen but not felt.’ It’s important, too, that we pay attention to glass. It’s so much taken for granted in the modern world.

      In Technobiophilia I discuss the ideas of Kent Bloomer, who is very suspicious of the ways in which windows fool us into thinking we’re engaging with the real. He especially dislikes picture windows because ‘the large picture windows we so enjoy and which reinforce that sense of bringing the outdoors indoors are actually provoking a damaging level of cognitive dissonance.’ This is because, he explains, ‘we possess a psychological boundary around our bodies (and by extension around our houses) that divides, or separates, our sense of a personal, possessed interior space from an exterior extra-personal space.’ This boundary is vitally important to our experience of the world because it conditions our perceptions of the environment; it appears at places of entry and exit, providing visual information about ‘social rank, safety, cultural belief and the occupants’ relationship to nature’. Passing through the boundary indicates the near-possibility of touching and that haptic experience is, says Bloomer, ‘fundamentally critical in establishing a firm connection, a “contact” with the natural environment.’ There’s more beyond that. (apologies for the lengthy paste from the Kindle version).

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  1. I’d counter that it’s not ‘merely’ a psychological barrier — it is very real in the sense of it altering the flow of energies that reaches the embodied self-system… and, in passing through, well, try *that* with a glass window, and one’s energy state will assuredly be altered! And, despite the attenuation that glass affords, we are also very much experiencing the real… and the attenuation cannot be reduced to the traditional dialectic of natural/artificial. Humans, as with any living organism, change the flows around them, at the same time that they are *of* those same flows. http://tech-no-mad.net/blog/archives/1783 and see the project ‘changing the course of nature’ http://tinyurl.com/lh9f7tx and http://tech-no-mad.net/blog/archives/44821

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