Park Walks Shown to Boost Memory and Attention

A new study shows that walks in the park are more beneficial than those on city streets, in terms of memory and attention. The natural scenery requires less direct attention, so it's sharper when needed next.
February 18, 2009, 9am PST | Judy Chang
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"It's not that difficult to incorporate nature into everyday life, and it's not necessary to become a hiking enthusiast to reap its benefits. Simply spending time in a park and interacting with nature more regularly can help.

'We found that just a 50-minute walk showed pretty significant improvement-so it's not like you have to be doing it every day, or going far away to get the improvement,' says [University of Michigan graduate student Marc] Berman.

It doesn't even matter if the walk is pleasurable.

'You don't even have to enjoy the walk to get the benefits. We had people walking in January, when it's really cold in Ann Arbor, and people didn't like the walk. But they still showed the improvement,' says Berman."

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Published on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in The McGill Tribune
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