We know that spending time outdoors is good for our well-being, our mood and our general health. But did you know that even short stays outdoors are good for our brain as well

The researchers of a recent small study used MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging) to examine 6 healthy, middle-aged participants for 6-8 months. In total, 281 scans (40-50 scans per participant) showed that the time spent outdoors had a positive effect on grey matter in the right dorsolateral–prefrontal cortex, the part of brain that is involved in the planning and regulation of actions as well as cognitive control. This positive effect was observed regardless of the other influencing factors, such as sunshine duration, number of hours of free time, physical activity, and fluid intake.

Researchers believe that their findings might be especially helpful to treat mental (psychiatric) disorders as most of these disorders are related to deficits of grey matter in the prefrontal cortex.

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Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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