Irrespective of where we come from in the world, it seems that the presence of living things makes us feel good.
There are three levels of engagement with nature.
The first is viewing nature, as through a window, or in a book, on television or in a painting.
The second is being in the presence of usually nearby nature, which is incidental to some other activity, such as walking or cycling to work, or reading on a garden seat or talking to friends in a park.
The third is active participation and involvement with nature, such as gardening or farming, trekking or running.
There is now strong evidence that all these levels deliver mental health benefits. The evidence also suggests that green spaces and nearby nature should be seen as a fundamental health resource.
Physical activity is now known to be a co-determinant of health. Yet there has been a dramatic fall in physical activity in recent decades, with severe health consequences.
Exercising in the presence of nature (green exercise) thus has important public and environmental health consequences.
How nature contributes to mental and physical health, Jules Pretty
Spirituality and Health International Volume 5 Issue 2 2004