“Hypertension is a chronic health problem across the world, so given the results we have seen in our study it is crucial that we continue to try to understand the role physical activity and – in particular – green exercise plays in blood pressure,” said Michael Duncan from Coventry University in Britain.
For the study, researchers asked kids aged 9-10 years to complete a series of 15 minute moderate intensity cycling activities – one while viewing a video of a forest track synced to the exercise bike and another with no visual stimulus.
The researchers found that after the ‘green exercise’ the children’s post-activity blood pressure was significantly lower than it was without the simulated forest environment, indicating that the nature scenes promoted positive health effects.
“If there is indeed a correlation between viewing scenes of nature and a lower blood pressure post exercise, as indicated by our data, it could have very positive implications in encouraging public health practitioners to prescribe outdoor exercise to reduce health risk,” Duncan said.
The study appeared in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.