Nature AND Nurture in the Hotel Spa With These New Trends
By Lisa Starr Principal, Wynne Business | July 2020
Several wellness trends identified by the Global Wellness Institute in the past few years have involved the out-of-doors, such as forest bathing, earthing, mushrooms, wellness architecture, and even the concept of medical professionals prescribing nature as a cure for a variety of conditions.
While in 1950, only 30% of the world's population lived in urban areas, by 2018 it was up to 55% and still increasing, resulting in the fact that nature is becoming an abstract concept for people as we spend increasing hours per day in urban homes, offices, cars, and in front of various screens.
This increasing disconnection from nature is spurring studies in the academic and medical communities which have definitive findings, corroborating something we already feel to be true - that the healing power of nature cannot be denied.
Being out of doors, feeling the breeze in our hair, the grass under our feet, the abundance of flora and fauna surrounding us, puts a smile on most people's faces, allergy sufferers aside. Peter James, Sc.D. at Harvard Medical School, opines that rather than thinking about nature access as a perk or occasional treat, people should consider these experiences as "a necessity that we need to maintain and sustain healthy lives." Fortunately, academics have been studying this topic and compiling compelling data.
This study from 2017 suggests links between a variety of health benefits, including reduced obesity and depression, better quality of sleep and increased social connectedness, and spending time in the out-of-doors. Best-selling author Dan Buettner studied global centenarians in his book The Blue Zones and found that among the reasons these people were living so long was that their healthy lifestyles included maintaining gardens year-round and by walking more and taking mechanized transport less. Clearly, lifestyles that incorporate elements of nature are healthier and happier.