Your Brain Likes Park Too

Photo from my trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago.

This NYTimes article related to my post from this morning about my four hour walk around the Upper West Side yesterday.  This study says that you can "ease brain fatigue simply by strolling through a leafy park."  That's exactly what I did yesterday.  So how did they conduct this research?
"The researchers, who had been studying the cognitive impacts of green spaces for some time, then sent each volunteer out on a short walk of about a mile and half that wound through three different sections of Edinburgh.The first half mile or so took walkers through an older, historic shopping district, with fine, old buildings and plenty of pedestrians on the sidewalk, but only light vehicle traffic.
The walkers then moved onto a path that led through a park-like setting for another half mile.
Finally, they ended their walk strolling through a busy, commercial district, with heavy automobile traffic and concrete buildings.
The walkers had been told to move at their own speed, not to rush or dawdle. Most finished the walk in about 25 minutes.
Throughout that time, the portable EEGs on their heads continued to feed information about brain wave patterns to the laptops they carried.
Afterward, the researchers compared the read-outs, looking for wave patterns that they felt were related to measures of frustration, directed attention (which they called “engagement”), mental arousal and meditativeness or calm.
What they found confirmed the idea that green spaces lessen brain fatigue.
When the volunteers made their way through the urbanized, busy areas, particularly the heavily trafficked commercial district at the end of their walk, their brain wave patterns consistently showed that they were more aroused and frustrated than when they walked through the parkland, where brain-wave readings became more meditative.
While traveling through the park, the walkers were mentally quieter."
It may have eased my brain fatigue too much, though.  Because now all I want to do is go for yet another walk.

See the full article here


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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