While there are already enough reasons to take nature walks, researchers from Ottawa have managed to find one more. According to their recent study, nature sounds help relieve pain, lower stress, and enhance cognitive performance.
The researchers further claim that a springtime stroll through nature while listening to birdsong sounds and the patter of rain are very beneficial to your health. This is excellent news for those who have taken to exercising outdoors because of the ongoing pandemic.
Scientists say the sounds of water improve positive emotions while bird sounds fight stress. The study uses recordings from 255 sites from 66 parks across the US and reveals the health benefits associated with them.
Dr. Rachel Buxon, the lead study author and researcher at Carleton University, says that the COVID 19 pandemic has taught us how essential nature is to human health. She adds that with less traffic and crowding, people have been able to reconnect with nature’s sounds in a whole new way. People have experienced relaxing sounds like birdsong which the scientists now discover are even good for their health. She further recommends that people close their eyes for a while and enjoy the sounds during a park visit.
In the research, Colorado State University students identified the sound recordings, resulting from a decade-long collaboration between the National Park Service and CSU. The team found out that water sounds boost positive feelings while birdsong can help combat annoyance and stress.
The study further explains that contrary to the harmful health effects of noise, natural sounds may improve mental health. Dr. Amber Pearson, associate professor at Michigan State, says that more research on natural sounds is needed because the current results are from labs and hospital settings.
Less popular parks are better.
Parks are a great source of these natural sounds. Although the study found that all the sounds from National parks were beneficial, more popular parks are likely to be crowded, hence noisy and diluting the purity of the soundscapes.