Culture 3 min read

Exposure to Greenery Reduces Unhealthy Cravings

A new study revealed that physical activities like exercise have little to no effect on people's efforts to eliminate their unhealthy cravings. Instead, it's exposure to green sceneries that has the most impact.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

Good news, science has suggested a new way to get rid of those unhealthy cravings. The best part is you won’t have to lift a finger – just your eyes.

A new study published in the journal Health & Place suggests that being able to see green spaces from your home could reduce unhealthy cravings, including cigarettes, alcohols, as well as other harmful foods and vices.

Previous research already suggests that exercising in nature can reduce cravings. Building on this study, the researchers are saying that the same may be true irrespective of physical activity.

According to Plymouth University researchers, the findings further emphasize the need to invest and protect green spaces in urban areas. That way, we could maximize the public health benefit which they offer.

With that said, the researchers are yet to establish a causal link between greenery and the reduction in unhealthy cravings.

The Relationship Between Exposure to Greenery and Unhealthy Cravings

For a while now, researchers have known that exercising outdoor, in a green environment leads to reduced cigarette and alcohol cravings. But, they didn’t understand how. Is it physical activity, greenery, or both?

So, they decided to investigate.

Researchers from the University’s School of Psychology, with support from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter, conducted a study to explore how exposure to green space affects cravings.

In a statement, lead researcher of the study and graduate student at Plymouth University, Leanne Martin said:

“It has been known for some time that being outdoors in nature is linked to a person’s wellbeing. But for there to be a similar association with cravings from merely being able to see green spaces adds a new dimension to previous research.”

For the study, the participants had to complete an online survey which explored the link between various forms of nature exposure and cravings. These forms of nature exposure included:

  • Presence of green views in participants’ home
  • Access to a garden or allotment
  • The proportion of green space in a participants’ residential neighborhood
  • Frequency of use of public green space

Exercise Has No Effect on Cravings

The researchers noted lower craving strength and rate in participants with access to a garden or allotment. Also, residential views that have 25 percent green space have a similar response.

As for the link between cravings and exercise, the researchers said that physical activities do not affect needs. The participants experienced a reduced hunger for cigarette, alcohol, and other harmful food irrespective of their physical activity level.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Sabine Pahl noted:

“Showing that lower craving is linked to more exposure to green spaces is a promising first step. Future research should investigate if and how green spaces can be used to help people withstand problematic cravings, enabling them to better manage cessation attempts in the future.”

Read More: New Study: Green Spaces Can Help You Trust Strangers

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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