Job demands. Keeping in touch with friends or family. Following the news or growing addicted to media. Our lives can be spent indoors staring at digital devices.

Some studies have suggested Australians use their devices for 5 hours every day. This exposure is associated with higher levels of stress and depression, with social media use in particular having an impact on mental health.

Regular exposure to the outdoors is the antidote. Studies have found being outdoors has a de-stressing effect, lowering the level of cortisol – a hormone scientists associate with stress – and a decreased heart rate.

Depression and anxiety can also ease with exposure to the outdoors. A walk in the forest can lower the bad moods and improve self-esteem. Your attention and focus improves when you’ve had an outdoor experiences: “doses” of exposure to nature can even reduce instances of ADHD.

Being outdoors can also have a positive effect on the body, studies show. Beside the obvious positive effects of exercise, an outdoor trip can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, lower fatigue and even improve eyesight, reducing the risk of developing nearsightedness in children.

If you’re in Australia, not only will the outdoors improve your physical and mental health, you’ll also get a chance for an adventure and a chance to witness some of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. Incorporate regular outdoor exposure into your life, head on an adventure and see your mental and physical health improve.

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