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Improve Your Focus - Go Outside

Improve Your Focus - Go Outside

I was recently reading an article about a study that was performed at the University of Michigan regarding the importance of going outside even in the cold.

The psychology department published an article in the December issue of Psychological Science exploring the cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. What they found was that a walk in the park in any season, or even viewing pictures of nature, can improve memory and attention.

University of Michigan’s psychology research team found people’s memory performance and attention span improves by 20 percent when they spend an hour interacting with nature.

The researchers believe that interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating. They also found it didn’t matter what the weather was like, and people who went for walks whether it was 80 degrees or 20 degrees had the same benefits. The only difference was on those nice days the people enjoyed their walk.

The researchers decided to test another theory by having people out on specific walking routes around Ann Arbor. The people either walked on urban routes down main streets or they walked a route at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. They found that those people who walked in nature improved short term memory by 20 percent, but those that walked down the streets showed no improvements.

The researchers also tested the same theory by having subjects sit inside and look at pictures of either downtown scenes or nature scenes and once again the results were the same. Those that looked at the nature pictures had improvements in memory and attention by the 20 percent, but not when viewing the urban pictures.

So, try and get outside and take in nature every chance you get.

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