June 22, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Love Your Heart: Look at Nature

Heart patients can get instant relief from stress by simply looking out at nature through a window, reported Science Daily.  It worked better if the patient looked at the real thing, not just a picture on TV.
    In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, scientists tested the heart rates of patients who looked at nature out a window, natural scenes on a plasma screen, or a blank wall.  A psychologist at the University of Washington who participated in the study said,

We are losing direct experiences with nature.  Instead, more and more we’re experiencing nature represented technologically through television and other media.  Children grow up watching Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.  That’s probably better than nothing.  But as a species we need interaction with actual nature for our physical and psychological well-being.

Young people today are suffering from “environmental generational amnesia,” he said.  They are so used to air pollution and cityscapes that they have lost the memory of an experience with real blue sky, fresh air and trees.  The researchers were surprised to find that looking at such things on a TV screen was no more beneficial than staring at a blank wall.
    For more on the benefits of exposure to nature, see the entries from 12/05/2001, 03/27/2001 and 03/23/2001.

Watching TV programs about animals and nature is worse than nothing if it preaches the usual evolutionary sermon.  Get outside and see what God made: go on a Creation Safari.

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Categories: Health, Media

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