Memory, Attention and Nature

A recent study wanted to look at the effect of being in nature on memory and attention. Researchers tested two groups of college students. One group went for a walk in an arboretum that was full of trees and shrubs. A second group went for a walk of similar duration but in a busy, well-trafficked urban area. Both groups were a given tests of mental acuity.

The group that walked in nature did better than the group that walked in the city. It did not matter if the temperature was 80 degrees or 25 degrees. The researchers decided to see if the beneficial effect of exercise could explain the difference. So they had the two groups looks at photographs. One group looked at photos of nature and the other of man-made structures found in most major urban areas. The results showed that the group that looked at photos of natural landscapes did almost 25% better on tasks of memory and attention span. Find the time to go outside. Even if you are in the middle of New York City find a green space and stretch your legs. You will probably be more productive. If going outside is not possible place beautiful images around your living and work spaces