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Outdoor walking lowers stress hormone levels

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According to the Daily Mail of April 4, Dr. Mary Carol Hunter of the University of Michigan in the United States confirmed that outdoor distraction can significantly reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Several scientists have previously said that 20 to 30 minutes in the natural environment can reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, by about 10%. A new study finds that after 30 minutes, the benefits of going out for a walk continue to increase, but to a lesser extent, the Times reported.

Dr. Mary Carol Hunter of the University of Michigan, who led the study, said: "Our research shows that in order to achieve the most effective cortisol reduction, people should rest or walk in the natural environment for 20 to 30 minutes. This can be achieved without going to the wild, living or working in the natural environment.

The study has been published in front-end journals of psychology. Dr Hunter believes that the study will help doctors prescribe "natural prescriptions" to anxious patients and advise patients to relax in outdoor green spaces.

In the natural environment, distraction has been considered as a low-cost way of disease prevention, which can help people reduce the risk of hypertension or mental illness. At present, however, there are few studies on how long it takes to stay outdoors to have a significant impact on the human body.

This health-friendly non-medical treatment, known as social prescription, is at the heart of the NHS long-term plan launched in January by British Prime Minister Theresa May and NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens.

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