Previous academic studies have indicated how being outdoors, particularly in green spaces, can improve mental health.(Unsplash)
Previous academic studies have indicated how being outdoors, particularly in green spaces, can improve mental health.(Unsplash)

Here’s how heading outdoors keeps lockdown blues at bay

A new study has found that spending time outdoors and switching off our devices is associated with higher levels of happiness during a period of Covid-19 restrictions.
By Asian News International | Posted by Jahnavi Gupta | Cambridge [England]
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 10:42 AM IST

A new study has found that spending time outdoors and switching off our devices is associated with higher levels of happiness during a period of Covid-19 restrictions.

Previous academic studies have indicated how being outdoors, particularly in green spaces, can improve mental health by promoting more positive body image, and lowering levels of depression and anxiety.

Jointly led by academics from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK, the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences in Austria, and Perdana University in Malaysia, this new research examined how levels of happiness during a national lockdown were affected by being outdoors, the amount of daily screen time (use of TV, computer and smartphone) and feelings of loneliness.

Using an experience sampling method (ESM), the researchers measured levels of happiness amongst a group of 286 adults three times a day, at random intervals, over a 21-day period. This allowed the participants to provide data in real-time rather than retrospectively, helping to avoid recall biases.

The research, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, was carried out in April 2020, when the Austrian participants were allowed to leave their homes only for specific activities, which included exercise.

It found that levels of happiness were higher when participants were outdoors rather than indoors. In addition, more daily screen time and higher levels of loneliness were both associated with lower levels of happiness. The impact of loneliness on happiness was also weaker when participants were outdoors.

Co-lead author Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “While lockdowns can help slow down the transmission of Covid-19, research has also shown that prolonged periods of lockdown take their toll on mental health.

“Our results are important in this context because they show that being able to spend time outdoors under conditions of lockdown has a beneficial impact on psychological wellbeing. Being outdoors provides opportunities to escape from the stresses of being confined at home, maintain social relationships with others, and engage in physical activity - all of which can improve mental health.

“Our findings have practical health policy implications. Given that further lockdown restrictions have now become necessary in the UK, public health messages that promote getting some fresh air instead of staying indoors and staring at our screens could really help to lift people’s mood this winter.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Bhumi Pednekar in a fringed ensemble by Falguni Shane Peacock (Photo: Instagram/ThePeacockMagazine)
Bhumi Pednekar in a fringed ensemble by Falguni Shane Peacock (Photo: Instagram/ThePeacockMagazine)

Fall’s fringe fever

By Manish Mishra
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 12:34 AM IST
It’s been a fashion season of gyrating fringes seen on the runways of the recently concluded New York, London and Milan Fashion Weeks
Close
A model in a Maria Grazia Chiuri’s AW 21 creation showcased in a digital film shot at the hallowed Hall of Mirrors of the Château de Versailles. (Photo: Instagram/Dior)
A model in a Maria Grazia Chiuri’s AW 21 creation showcased in a digital film shot at the hallowed Hall of Mirrors of the Château de Versailles. (Photo: Instagram/Dior)

Schoolgirl chic meets gothic fantasy

By Manish Mishra
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 12:41 AM IST
Maria Grazia Chiuri offers a powerful paradox - clashing innocent preppiness with a nimble nonchalance
Close
What’s in store for Aries, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and other zodiac signs.
What’s in store for Aries, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and other zodiac signs.

Horoscope Today: Astrological prediction for March 9

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma, Manisha Koushik, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 12:10 AM IST
Daily horoscope: Are the stars lined up in your favour? Find out the astrological prediction for Aries, Leo, Virgo, Libra and other zodiac signs for March 9.
Close
Here are some women achievers sharing their experiences and vision
Here are some women achievers sharing their experiences and vision

International Women’s Day: A toast to the fierce, fabulous female

By Digvijay and Sanchita Kalra
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 07:34 PM IST
On the occasion of International Women’s Day today, here’s toasting to each and every incredibly inspiring woman. We get to you some eminent personalities who share their take on the evolving roles of women in the post pandemic world
Close
"We need to consider a spectrum of dietary and lifestyle changes based on different age groups and gender," she said. "There is not one healthy diet that will work for everyone. There is not one fix."(Unsplash)
"We need to consider a spectrum of dietary and lifestyle changes based on different age groups and gender," she said. "There is not one healthy diet that will work for everyone. There is not one fix."(Unsplash)

Customized diets may optimize mental health, claims study

ANI, New York [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:12 PM IST
A study claimed that while a balanced diet is advisable to provide the body all the essential nutrients, customized diets and lifestyle changes could be key to optimising mental health.
Close
Shilpa Shetty paints Women’s Day red with love in handcrafted Bandhani dress(Instagram/theshilpashetty)
Shilpa Shetty paints Women’s Day red with love in handcrafted Bandhani dress(Instagram/theshilpashetty)

Shilpa Shetty paints Women’s Day red with love in handcrafted Bandhani dress

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:59 PM IST
  • ‘Ready Shetty Go’: Shilpa Shetty Kundra dolls up in a handcrafted red and white Bandhani shirt and skirt on Women’s Day 2021 to shoot for another episode of Super Dancer Chapter 4 and fans can’t stop swooning over her outfit of the day
Close
These results suggested that masks could be worn safely during intense exercise, for example, to reduce Covid-19 transmission between people visiting an indoor gym.(Unsplash)
These results suggested that masks could be worn safely during intense exercise, for example, to reduce Covid-19 transmission between people visiting an indoor gym.(Unsplash)

Wearing a face mask during exercise safe for healthy people: Study

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:37 PM IST
According to a new study, wearing a face mask during intense exercise is safe for healthy people and could reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading at indoor gyms.
Close
As the US vaccination rollout has sped up, so, too, have requests for vaxications.(Unsplash)
As the US vaccination rollout has sped up, so, too, have requests for vaxications.(Unsplash)

Celebratory ‘vaxications’ are giving the travel industry a boost

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:27 PM IST
Pent-up demand and a surplus of spending money have itchy travelers eager to check off their bucket lists.
Close
Covid-19 nasal swab test to be avoided by people who underwent sinus surgery(Photo by United Nations Covid-19 Response on Unsplash)
Covid-19 nasal swab test to be avoided by people who underwent sinus surgery(Photo by United Nations Covid-19 Response on Unsplash)

Covid-19 nasal swab test to be avoided by people who underwent sinus surgery

ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:29 PM IST
As per a new study, about half of the videos on how to perform Covid-19 nasopharyngeal swabs were incorrect hence, people who have undergone sinus surgery should avoid Covid-19 nasal swab test as incorrect angling may result in a puncture
Close
Wearing a face mask during exercise safe for healthy people? Study sheds light(Photo by Jairo on Unsplash)
Wearing a face mask during exercise safe for healthy people? Study sheds light(Photo by Jairo on Unsplash)

Wearing a face mask during exercise safe for healthy people? Study sheds light

ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:17 PM IST
A new study reveals the impact of wearing a face mask while carrying out daily activities, such as climbing the stairs or doing housework, in healthy people and those with heart or lung conditions.
Close
Here's how artificial intelligence and IoT can improve travel experience(Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash)
Here's how artificial intelligence and IoT can improve travel experience(Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash)

Here's how artificial intelligence and IoT can improve travel experience

ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:05 PM IST
Artificial intelligence and IoT to give more personalised ticket booking experience and help users find the best deals and recommendations to fulfill their travel plans with ease.
Close
Vaccine Passport: Thailand backs digital travel pass before easing quarantine(Photos by Gareth Harrison and Sumit Chinchane on Unsplash)
Vaccine Passport: Thailand backs digital travel pass before easing quarantine(Photos by Gareth Harrison and Sumit Chinchane on Unsplash)

Vaccine Passport: Thailand backs digital travel pass before easing quarantine

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:55 PM IST
Ahead of wider reopening plans and easing of quarantine for vaccinated tourists, Thailand backs the proposal to issue vaccine passports to boost tourism amid Covid-19
Close
Initiative can salvage your sinking relation-ship
Initiative can salvage your sinking relation-ship

Initiative can salvage your sinking relation-ship

By Swati Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:46 PM IST
When in a relationship, the optimist in us never wants it to go kaput, after all who wants to shed those tears of sadness and months of longing for the same company. For most of us, the crying sessions that ensue after that, deal with how we didn’t see it coming. However, if you look closely, when doubts about a relationship start to creep in, people don’t just tell their partner immediately. They give and in fact take time to figure things out. But subtle or obvious hints or signs of turmoil might just pop up in everyday conversations.
Close
Women's Day 2021: SA's first female Black helicopter pilot breaks barriers(Twitter/AidaMSykes)
Women's Day 2021: SA's first female Black helicopter pilot breaks barriers(Twitter/AidaMSykes)

Women's Day 2021: SA's first female Black helicopter pilot breaks barriers

Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:39 PM IST
Read on the inspiring story of South Africa's first female Black helicopter pilot, Refilwe Ledwaba, who broke the race and gender barriers and teaches others to bust the glass ceiling on Women's Day 2021
Close
A sweet and serene slice of farm life
A sweet and serene slice of farm life

A sweet and serene slice of farm life

By Swati Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:37 PM IST
With agritourism on rise, farm stays, are blossoming with urban dwellers flocking these tranquil places to get a taste of the simple and sweet farm life.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP