For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park.Read more...
For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature's positive effects on the brain.
In this informative and entertaining account, Williams investigates cutting-edge research as she travels to fragrant cypress forests in Korea to meet the rangers who administer "forest healing programs," to the green hills of Scotland and its "ecotherapeutic" approach to caring for the mentally ill, to a river trip in Idaho with Iraqi vets suffering from PTSD, to the West Virginia mountains where she discovers how being outside helps children with ADHD. The Nature Fix demonstrates that our connection to nature is much more important to our cognition than we think and that even small amounts of exposure to the living world can improve our creativity and enhance our mood. In prose that is incisive, witty, and urgent, Williams shows how time in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to our humanity. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas--and the answers they yield--are more urgent than ever.
- ISBN-13: 9780393242713
- ISBN-10: 0393242714
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Page Count: 304
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.28 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Outside magazine contributor Williams (Breasts) writes frequently about the environment; in this extensively researched book, her travels take her to Japan, Korea, Singapore, Scotland, and elsewhere in search of hard evidence that exposure to nature causes positive changes in the brain. Her curiosity was piqued when she and her family moved from Boulder, Colo., to Washington, D.C.; soon, she found herself yearning for the mountains, and feeling disoriented and depressed. The idea that the open air enhances creativity and outlook isnt new; Williams traces it as far back as Aristotle. What are new, however, are current and ongoing studies by scientists (many of whom readers will encounter in these pages), who are using forests and natural landscapes as laboratories to learn more about how nature affects human health. Williams brings some intriguing observations to light; in the forests of South Korea, for instance, she learns that time among the cypress trees reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Within the U.S., she finds programs using nature to help kids with ADHD and veterans with PTSD. She also reveals how city planners can successfully bring nature into the urban environment. This powerful environmental call to arms proposes that for optimal well-being, regular doses of nature are not only recommended but required. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Feb.)