Wednesday June 26, 2019

Cycling, Walking Likely To Develop Better Mental Health

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

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CyclingStress, meditation, PTSD
Cycling, walking in nature may improve your mental health. Pixabay

People who commute — walking or cycling — through natural environments are more likely to develop better mental health than those who commute less, according to a new study.

Natural environments included all public and private outdoor spaces that contain ‘green’ and/or ‘blue’ natural elements such as street trees, forests, city parks and natural parks/reserves and all types of water bodies.

“Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from the University of Barcelona.

For the study, published in the journal, Environment International, the research team examined nearly 3,600 participants who answered a questionnaire about their commuting habits and their mental health.

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A couple walking, Pixabay

The findings showed that respondents commuting through natural environments on a daily basis had on average a 2.74 point higher mental health score compared to those who commuted through natural environments less frequently.

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

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“From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments,” said first author Wilma Zijlema from the varsity.

“Although this study is the first of its kind to our knowledge and, therefore, more research will be needed, our data show that commuting through these natural spaces alone may also have a positive effect on mental health.” (IANS)

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Less Sleep Can Create Mental Health Problems in Students: Study

With every additional night of insufficient sleep, the risk of experiencing mental health symptoms increased

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Sleep, Mental Health, Students
"It was really surprising to see how strongly insufficient sleep was associated with a wide variety of mental health symptoms among college students. Pixabay

Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, self-harm and suicide ideation among students and athletes, according to a study.

Published in the journal Sleep, the study analysis involved 110,496 students, out of which 8,462 were athletes.

“It was really surprising to see how strongly insufficient sleep was associated with a wide variety of mental health symptoms among college students,” said lead author Thea Ramsey from the University of Arizona in the US.

With every additional night of insufficient sleep, the risk of experiencing mental health symptoms increased on average by more than 20 per cent.

Sleep, Mental Health, Students
Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues. Pixabay

The risk also increased by 21 per cent for depressed mood, 24 per cent for hopelessness, 24 per cent for anger, 25 per cent for anxiety, 25 per cent for desire to self-harm, 28 per cent for functional problems and 28 per cent for suicide ideation.

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“The fact that sleep health was so strongly related to mental health is important since the majority of college students don’t get the recommended amount needed for optimal health and functioning,” said Michael Grander from the varsity. (IANS)