Backpacking Makes You Smarter (U. of Michigan researchers prove it)
Backpacking Makes You Smarter <http://www.backpacker.com/blogs/632>
Memory and attention improve after time spent in nature
At last, science yet again confirms something we've always intuitively
known: Spending time outside and in nature can help boost your mental
Plenty of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can attest to this from personal
experience, but a few late-to-the-game eggheads from the University of
Michigan decided test and quantify it.
For the experiment, a group of volunteers completed a set of memory and
attention tests, and then to take a walk either through downtown Ann Arbor
(ugh) or a nature-filled park (wheee!). Then, they re-took the memory and
attention tests. Surprise, surprise: Performance on the memory and attention
tasks improved greatly for those who took a walk in the park, but did not
improve for those who strolled downtown.
To further prove how Mother Nature can boost your cognition, the researchers
found in a second experiment that people who re-tested after seeing just *
photos* of nature improved their scores, while subjects who looked at
cityscapes did not.
There you have it: If you've got taxing mental challenge looming on the
horizon�the SATs or a particularly brutal crossword puzzle, say�you should
take a hike first. Failing that, pick up and read a copy of BACKPACKER.
You'll become an instant genius.
The Benefits of a Walk in the Park
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