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New Research Shows Nature’s Role in Reducing Inflammation

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A man suffering with Inflammation on knee

According to past research, spending more time in nature can help humans stay healthier, but more data should be needed to clarify how it works. So, researchers from the Center for Integrative Developmental Science (CIDS) in the College of Human Ecology conducted a study to understand whether spending more time in nature reduces inflammation— a condition in which body parts swell and become red and painful.   

The research published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity has revealed that positive nature experiences, such as seeing a beautiful scenery or enjoying a peaceful hike, can help reduce inflammation in the body. This research involved 1244 participants. These participants were with an average age of 54.50 years.   

Researchers asked these participants about how often they had good experiences in nature, like seeing beautiful scenery or birds chirping. Researchers also checked these participants to see if they had inflammation (a sign of sickness). They measured three different markers of inflammation: C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and fibrinogen. These markers can show the levels of inflammation.  

When researchers observed the collected data, they found that people who had spent more time in nature had lower levels of inflammation in their bodies. This shows that their bodies were healthier as there was no inflammation. Even after the researchers considered other factors like age, gender, and overall health, this remained the same.  

One of the researchers says they wanted to understand why spending time in nature is good for our health. They found that it’s not just about spending time outdoors but also about enjoying the experience. This can help reduce the risk of inflammation. Therefore, people should always pay attention and enjoy being with nature to get these benefits.   

The results of this study show that spending time in nature can help reduce inflammation, so people should start experiencing nature. Healthcare professionals need to devise effective strategies to encourage people to spend more time with nature. This study will give a new direction for further research in the future.   

Reference Link:  

Anthony D. Ong et al, Engagement with nature and proinflammatory biology, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (2024).   

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2024.03.043  

 

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