Obvious statement of the century: People who spend more time outside are happier and healthier than those cooped up inside. This we all know.
But what about just pretending to be outdoors?
According to new research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the simple act of looking at photos of green spaces has health benefits--most notably, stress reduction.
In the study, a group of university students were shown photos on a computer screen. Half saw a photo of an urban landscape with tall buildings and parked cars. The other half saw a photo of an empty path surrounded by trees. Immediately after, the subjects completed a series of increasingly difficult math problems. Researchers found that the students who had been shown the green space had lower heart rates and were better equipped to deal with the stress of the test.
So when it’s time to prep for a big presentation at work, changing your computer background to something like this might do you some good.