Nature’s Mental Health Benefits, Podcast with Dr. Jay Maddock

Nature's Mental Health Benefits


On nature’s mental health benefits…does the environment we evolved with protect us from mental anguish? Science suggests it does.

On a recent episode of Causes or Cures, I chatted with Dr. Jay Maddock about his research on the scientific link between nature and mental health benefits. The focus is on one of his recently published studies that analyzed the link between a community’s “Nature Score” and the prevalence of anxiety, stress and depression. He explains what a “Nature Score” is, how they did the study and the results. He also describes other research showing that exposure to nature is beneficial for PTSD and ADHD and explains theories for why nature is linked to mental health benefits and lack of nature may be detrimental. Finally, he discusses ongoing research in this area and implications for public health practices.

This is a timely topic because it seems so many people, particularly young people, are spending more and more time with their rears on the couch, face down in their phones. Or they are watching TV and playing video games. And there is a documented mental health crisis hitting our youth. Whether those two things are significantly linked or not…wouldn’t it be something if getting into nature more regularly improved one’s mental health? What if all you have to do is unplug, go for a walk in the woods or a park with lots of trees and let Mother Nature do her thing? When you consider how much mental health is costing folks, whether it be in productivity or doctor bills, a trip to nature is worth a shot. In addition to nature’s mental health benefits, becoming more acquainted with nature should intuitively boost conservation efforts. It’s much harder to care about something when you completely ignore it and don’t take the time to appreciate all it does for you.

Anyhow, who is my podcast guest?

Dr. Maddock is a researcher and regents professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Texas A&M University. He is director of the Center for Health and Nature,  Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Healthy Eating and Active Living and Chair of the Nature and Health Alliance.

Please tune in to the episode here. I encourage all of you to subscribe to the podcast too!

If you missed the episode on short sleep and risk of Type 2 Diabetes, please click here! Most people are stunned by how much sleep impacts our health.

Also, check out this episode on the fasting-mimicking diet and how it is linked to a lower biological age. (We all want to be younger, amiright? ;) )

Chat soon and stay well out there!



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This