Posted on behalf of Daniel Cressey.
For centuries a stroll in the countryside has been touted as beneficial to health – something modern science has confirmed. But for many people these benefits are out of reach.
Nature Video took a trip recently to the laboratory of Robert Stone in Birmingham. Building on work done for the Ministry of Defence, Stone is building digital recreations of the English countryside to help improve the mental health of people who can’t reach it in reality.
As Stone’s project progresses, the evidence could help optimise exercise for health benefits by teasing out what aspects are important for mental health. And if his virtual worlds can be shown to have similar effects to their real world equivalent, then the relaxation of a countryside stroll could one day be within reach of everyone.