Tuesday June 18, 2019

Reduce Loneliness And Boost Your Mental Health With Cycling

The study stressed on the need for "an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed.

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Mental health
Cycling can reduce your loneliness, boost mental health. Flickr

Feeling lonely? Riding your bicycles may not only improve your general and mental health, but also increase social interaction, says a study.

The study showed that cycling is the healthiest mode of transport and is associated with better self-perceived general health, better mental health, greater vitality, lower self-perceived stress and fewer feelings of loneliness.

“The findings suggest that active transport –especially cycling– should be encouraged in order to improve health and increase social interaction,” said lead author Avila Palencia from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Barcelona, Spain.

walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health
walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health. Pixabay

The second most beneficial transport mode, walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health, greater vitality, and more contact with friends and/or family.

“Ours is the first study to associate the use of multiple urban transport modes with health effects such as mental health and social contact. It also allowed us to highlight the positive effect of walking, which in previous studies was not very conclusive,” she added.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, was carried out in seven European cities: Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Orebro, Rome, Vienna and Zurich and included more than 8,800 people.

The transport modes assessed in the study were car, motorbike, public transport, bicycle, electric bicycle and walking.

cycling is the healthiest mode of transport
Cycling is the healthiest mode of transport Pixabay

Driving and public-transport use were associated with poor self-perceived general health, while cars were linked with fewer feelings of loneliness.

“This result is most likely due to the fact that the study population drove very infrequently and most journeys by car were probably for social purposes, such as visiting a family member or a friend,” the researchers explained.

Also Read: Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too

The study stressed on the need for “an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed in order to develop policies that promote active transport, such as adding more segregated cycle lanes for a better environment for cyclists,” the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Just Spending 2 Hours a Week in Nature can Work Wonders for Health, Well-Being

It's well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people's health

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Nature, Health, Well-Being
People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week. Pixabay

If you are looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing, your search may stop now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for your mind and body.

People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week, said the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough,” said lead researcher Mat White of the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain.

“The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing,” White said.

Nature, Health, Well-Being
If you are looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing, your search may stop now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for your mind and body. Pixabay

However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits.

It also found that the 120 minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.

“There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and wellbeing, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family,” said study co-author Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden.

Also Read- Countries Approved Projects Worth $1 Billion for Environment, Climate Change

“The current findings offer valuable support to health practitioners in making recommendations about spending time in nature to promote basic health and wellbeing,” Hartig said. (IANS)