A good one-hour nature walk may possibly improve psychological function in people with depression, according to researchers in Canada and the United States.
In a study of 20 clinically depressed individuals, participants who engaged in an hour-long solitary walk in the park demonstrated improvements in psychological functions. People who took a quiet nature walk demonstrated a substantial increase in attention and working memory by 16 percent, compared to those who took a stroll in a noisy urban setting. Despite the study’s promising results, understanding how nature walks may be effective to improving psychological functions still necessitate further studies, according to the study’s lead author.
While nature walks may provide psychological benefits to people suffering from depression, lead researcher Dr. Marc Berman of Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, advises that they should not be used as replacement for treatment options such as psychological counseling, and drug treatment.
While medication is one of today’s accepted depression treatments, antidepressants such as Paxil have also been reportedly associated with several adverse effects. Babies born to mothers who may have taken Paxil during the first trimester of their pregnancy have been reportedly observed with one of Paxil birth defects.