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Medicine Earth Science

'Forest Bathing' Considered Healthful 252

Posted by kdawson
from the just-like-your-mother-told-you-except-for-the-ticks dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that although allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors at this time of year, when people spend time in more natural surroundings — forests, parks, and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function. A study of 280 healthy people in Japan, where visiting nature parks for therapeutic effect has become a popular practice called 'Shinrin-yoku,' or 'forest bathing,' found that being among plants produced 'lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure,' among other things. Another study in 2007 showed that men who took two-hour walks in a forest over two days had a 50-percent spike in levels of natural killer cells, and a third study found an increase in white blood cells that lasted for a week in women exposed to phytoncides in forest air."
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'Forest Bathing' Considered Healthful

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  • Am I the only one? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Polarina (1389203) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:18AM (#32824372) Homepage
    Am I the only one that read the title as "'Forest Bathing' Considered Harmful"?
    • by dintech (998802)

      I think that was the idea. A sort of weird Dijkstra parody.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mdsharpe (1051460)
      Nope, same here. Perhaps I haven't been Forest Bathing enough recently.
    • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:33AM (#32824512)

      I must admit that the title immediately got me thinking about opalescent pools of water surrounded by trees and then wondering if it would be so healthy if said pool contained an overly territorial venomous water snake or an alligator having a bad day...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hodapp (1175021)

      No. I even re-read the summary about 10 times in a row, trying to figure out what exactly was harmful about forest bathing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spazztastic (814296)

      Am I the only one that read the title as "'Forest Bathing' Considered Harmful"?

      It's a kdawson article, what do you expect? The moron decided to change the title from the original submission of "'Forest Bathing' is Good for Your Health" that pickens submitted it as to this garbage.

      Also, I read it as the same thing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by edittard (805475)
        Perhaps it was too long to fit in the headline? Still retarded though, since there's already a perfectly cromulent (and shorter) word: healthy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by thijsh (910751)
      I read: "Forced Bathing Considered Harmful", and thought: 'Well duhh, every little boy will agree'. :-)
    • by NekSnappa (803141)
      I actually saw it as "Hateful" at first.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by StDoodle (1041630)
      I had the same double-take, so I looked it up. "Healthful" means something that promotes good health. "Healthy" is a state of good health. In other words, the title is absolutely correct. If you would prefer "'Forest Bathing' Considered Healthy" then you're asking for a title implying that someone named "Forest Bathing" is in a good state of health.
    • by rainmouse (1784278) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:58AM (#32824770)
      What this article really seems to be saying is that living in towns and cities is harmful and that hanging out in parks and forests temporarily alleviates the symptoms.
      • by xaxa (988988)

        What this article really seems to be saying is that living in towns and cities is harmful and that hanging out in parks and forests temporarily alleviates the symptoms.

        I'd like to keep the towns and cities, but reduce the things that make them harmful. We already have lots of parks and trees here in London (something which surprises lots of visitors), but there could be a lot more. We also have lots of cars and aircraft.

        I work in one of the least polluted parts of London -- next to the river and a very large park. I live about 200m from one of the large commons. The change in pollution is very noticeable whenever I'm not in either of these places. However, even in a park

    • by tehcyder (746570) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:03AM (#32824828) Journal
      No you're not, and in my case that's because "healthful" isn't a word I recognise as being (UK) English, so my brain obviously substituted a similar real world.
    • by corbettw (214229)

      Actually, I read the headline as "Forget Bathing, it's Considered Harmful". Considering it was published by kdawson I assume he was just announcing to the world something we all already suspected.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Increasing exposure to foreign elements leads to a stronger immune system? ASTOUNDING.

    • by dintech (998802)

      I think it is astounding. I just shows how little we understand about the immune system still.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ByOhTek (1181381)

        Not really, I remember reading similar (but more generic) findings nearly 10 years ago - in general, more exposure to foreign things tends to lead to a stronger immune system. This follows pretty directly from that, I think.

    • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:17AM (#32825796) Journal

      All this article affirms is that reducing chronic stress makes people healthier.

      Stress evolved to be an acute reaction to a specific stimuli. When your stress reaction becomes chronic your health suffers.

      Ergo anything that reduces your stress response will improve your health.

      I expect that people who had some type of forest phobia would not receive the same benefit.

  • Breaking news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NekSnappa (803141) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:24AM (#32824424)
    People who get off their ass and go outside are healthier than those who don't.
    • Re:Breaking news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CraftyJack (1031736) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:28AM (#32824454)
      That seems obvious, but wait until you see the rest of the comments.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lxs (131946)

      I think you'll find this to be a controversial statement around these parts.

    • Re:Breaking news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:29AM (#32824466) Journal

      Also helps allergies:

      I've read several studies in Science News that show exposing allergic bodies to the outdoors "trains" the immune system to ignore things like pollen, dust, and so on as simply part of the natural environment.

      • by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:35AM (#32824524)

        Also helps allergies:

        I've read several studies in Science News that show exposing allergic bodies to the outdoors "trains" the immune system to ignore things like pollen, dust, and so on as simply part of the natural environment.

        I've also read studies that picking your nose and eating your boogers increases your immune system. Seems plausible since your nose filters out pollen, dust, and other things your body shouldn't be absorbing.

        • >>>eating your boogers increases your immune system.

          No not really. The stomach acid dissolves the mucus which means the immune system never gets to "see" the pollen and dust that was being held in suspension.

        • by natehoy (1608657)

          No, but it keeps everyone around you away, and that in turn decreases you exposure to communicable diseases. :)

        • by Zarniwoop (25791)

          Awesome! I am superman!!

      • by CODiNE (27417)

        Ya know it seems kind of wacky but I think I've been losing my cat allergy. Before we got married my wife always had cats, I said "Them or me" and the cats were gone. Then a few years later she missed them and wanted one badly so I gave in with the rule that it had to stay out of the bedroom.

        Now months later the cat sleeps by my pillow and I don't break out like I used to and my eyes don't water. I still find myself avoiding other cats by habit but I wonder if I'm still allergic to them at all.

        • I think it might depend whether the cat has been out getting pollen on its fur. My hay fever doesn't seem as bad as it used to be either though, at least I don't get itchy eyes like I used to.

          I've found out recently I get rashes on my arms/shoulders if they come into contact with grass, though my hands are fine with it.

        • It's not so wacky; I've noticed the same effect with my wife's dog (though the ultimatum went the other way in our case; keeping the dog was non-negotiable). With prolonged exposure to the allergen, your reaction to it will be reduced. I think it's something to do with the immune system being overly sensitive to the allergen, but "learning" over time to not react so strongly (but that's basically speculation on my part). You should note though that your allergy may not be entirely gone. I no longer get alle

          • I've noticed this effect myself, I'll sneeze for the first week or two that i'm around a new furry critter until I get acclimated.

            However, it turns out you may be wrong [webmd.com] about the nuts part at least. I had heard about this from a nanny friend of mine.

          • >And it goes without saying that this doesn't apply at all to anaphylactic reactions like allergies to bee stings, shellfish, nuts, or things like that.

            Indeed, those go the other way entirely. I've been allergic to bee stings my whole life. As a child the symptoms were about as benign as they could be: delayed swelling (by about 12 hours). With each subsequent sting however, the allergy got worse and worse. The last time I got stung I ended up in hospital needing antihistamine injections and an tube down

        • by HJED (1304957)
          There have been a number of studies showing that people can build up immunities to their allergies.
          I have experienced this personally as I used to have gluten and dairy allergies but over time they disappeared (my allergies weren't very sever though so I had little bits of dairy and gluten every now and then which probably helped).
          My sister had a similar experience to your self, she used to be mildly allergic to cats but over time living with them she stopped showing symptoms.
        • by icebrain (944107)

          I know I've lost mine. Used to have bad runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, etc. Then I lived with a cat, and then two cats. It went away. I still keep the "no cats in the bedroom" rule despite my wife's protests, but that's personal preference--I don't want them in my bed, I don't want their shed hair in my bed, and I don't want them walking on/poking/laying on me while I'm sleeping--that tends to wake me up in a loud and violent manner.

          More cats don't bother me; the in-laws have six and I don't have a

        • Maybe you've found an undocumented side effect of Toxoplasmosis [slashdot.org].
      • Another study in 2007 showed that men who took two-hour walks in a forest over two days had a 50-percent spike in levels of natural killer cells, and a third study found an increase in white blood cells that lasted for a week in women exposed to phytoncides in forest air."

        What they're describing here in this second study is an heightened immune response. Now when I don't have allergies, such an immune response is fine, it's probably healthy too. That being said, when I have allergies, I certainly don't want more killer cells or white blood cells, during those times I already have way too many of those!!!!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        Or it could just be that people who tend to stay indoors all the time also lean towards being neurotic pansies and hypochondriacs.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        When my children's school forces them to use hand sanitizer by the gallon, and when I see other people's homes so immaculate a single mite of dust does not exist, I cringe, because I know we are no longer allowing children to build any real immunity to anything. Have asthma? Take Tae Kwon Do ... the extra breathing you train yourself to do may just remove the asthma. This terribly written and short-on-details article has a real point.
    • Re:Breaking news (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hodapp (1175021) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:36AM (#32824552)

      Both groups "got off their ass" and "went outside". The comparison was between walking in a city area, and walking in a forest.
      Did you even open the article?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by datapharmer (1099455)
        I tried, but it is pay-walled. Oh well. I guess I will stay ignorant until an unlocked source appears.
    • Re:Breaking news (Score:4, Informative)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:37AM (#32824554) Homepage Journal

      Did you even read the summary? It's not just taking a walk outside, it's walking through the woods. This study has nothing to do with exersize or being sedentary, it's about breathing woodland air. AFAIK exersize has never been shown to boost the immune system (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

      I read about another study that showed that children who live in spotlessly clean homes are more prone to allergies and athsma than kids whose moms are slobs. This may be related somehow, I don't know.

      • I read about another study that showed that children who live in spotlessly clean homes are more prone to allergies and athsma than kids whose moms are slobs. This may be related somehow, I don't know.

        That may be because the kids in the spotless homes don't get enough germs in their body to build up antibodies. These are the same kids who probably weren't allowed to play in the dirt, compared to ones who live in homes that aren't as well maintained.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        This study has nothing to do with exersize

        Is that what stops you getting plus-size?

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          No, that's what happens when you don't have enough coffee to be able to spell a simple word properly, let alone take into consideration the proximity of S and Z on a keyboard.

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Remember also that many of us (e.g. all Europeans) are descendants of forest people, evolved to live in that environment. 50% of land used to be covered in trees, but we've cut most of them down in the last 2000 years.

    • Re:Breaking news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by augi01 (1209002) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:41AM (#32824594)
      In conjunction with this rather astonishing remark, it may also be the case that walking in the forest removes one from an environment associated with many stressful things, i.e. work, school, etc, thereby decreasing their overall stress level. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
      • Unless one has a mortgage and should really be out looking for a job or solving the other real problems that cause stressful things.

        I, personally, would be thinking "why the heck am I walking around this hot sticky forest risking skin cancer and rabies instead of trying to deal with my problems."

        It's good for people who can just let these things slip their mind I guess.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Ooh, plus, having 2 hours of completely free time a day to hug trees is correlated with having lower levels of stress. SOTP TEH PRESSAS!!11!
  • Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jridley (9305) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:26AM (#32824430)

    I grew up on a farm, and the only people who had air conditioning were living in town. I didn't even know what allergies were; none of my friends or anyone in their family had them, until I started making friends with people who lived in town and had air conditioning and super clean houses. THEY had allergies.

    • Sounds like my hatred for concrete hell (the city) is justified. We'd all be doing ourselves a favor if, instead of fearing the ongoing city depopulation, we embraced it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by viking099 (70446)

        Yes, urban sprawl is much better for humanity and the environment than living in a city.

        Why, when I was a kid and went to Jacksonville Beach, I could drive for miles along the coastal highway and not see a house or a condo. Thank goodness the developers were so forward thinking that they plopped huge condo developments and beautiful beach houses all along the highway so that the water can't even be seen any more!

        And look at all those nasty forests that have been clearcut to bare earth, razed, paved, and pip

        • >>>Yes, urban sprawl is much better for humanity and the environment than living in a city.

          Actually - you're correct. Converting stripped farmland to suburbs has created an increase in the number of trees over the last 100 years.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by viking099 (70446)

            It has increased a monoculture of trees in the form of stripped native forests that have been replanted with pulpwood trash pines.

            DAGS on the American Chestnut tree to see what can happen to a monoculture.

            Sure more trees is better than fewer trees, but a 5 year old slash pine isn't nearly as useful to the environment as a 150 year old oak.

            Maybe in the Midwest there's plenty of farmland or pastures available for developing, but in everywhere I've lived in the southern US most new housing development have com

      • by jelizondo (183861) *

        Be careful, if you start embracing city dwellers, they multiply

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Exactly! One theory is that the prevalence of allergies in modern times is a result of our "super clean" environments around us. The body's immune system has nothing to fight off, so instead it starts attacking even the most benign invaders -- any little bit of pollen or something it hasn't encountered before. The result of this is allergic reactions to nearly anything and everything out there. And those reactions are only getting worse as time goes on (i.e., the preponderance of peanut allergies in childre
      • The body's immune system has nothing to fight off, so instead it starts attacking even the most benign invaders

        It's the same reason why researchers going to civilizations with no contact with the outside world have to be careful about spreading germs -- they have had no contact with bacteria and virus' that develop in large civilizations so they are very susceptible to infection.

      • by iamhigh (1252742)
        Can't help but wonder if it might also be that you don't have to be near a place that grows peanuts, but simply near a gas station. The recent ability to buy foods from anywhere has to affect the numbers.
    • I grew up in a smallish town with lots of nature around and was in a forest every day - except in the winter. I live in a village now and am still almost every day in a forest. My home never was sterile. I've got urticaria since 2004 forcing me to take histamine antagonists every single day, and sometimes, when they not help, even corticosteroids.

      Please do not oversimplify things.

    • Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FreeUser (11483) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:59AM (#32824790)

      I grew up on a farm, and the only people who had air conditioning were living in town. I didn't even know what allergies were; none of my friends or anyone in their family had them, until I started making friends with people who lived in town and had air conditioning and super clean houses. THEY had allergies.

      Your unscientific anecdote is negated by my own equally unscientific anecdote:

      I grew up in a small farming village, a tiny population in a state with one of the lowest levels of air pollution, with no air conditioning whatsoever. I had absolutely terrible allergies, up to and including asthma, eyes glued shut due to "sleep" (secretions), and the need for serious medicine that didn't really help much.

      The best thing I ever did was move to a city, get air conditioning, and stay the fuck away from the grass, trees, and other foliage that made my life a living hell. I didn't get allergies from living in the city as you so erroneously imply, I got them from being exposed to pollen in the first place, and short of paving the planet, a large city with relatively little green space is in my experience an ideal environment for those who suffer from Hay Fever, pollution notwithstanding.

    • Who would have thought that the immune system treats any foreign object as harmful. Once exposed to it, your immune system responds by trying to kill it. If it can't, it just gets used to it. Simplified, but fairly accurate description.

      Moving from a hyper-clean environment into a natural one will of course expose you to many things which cause an immune response upon first contact: Fungus and pine spores, dust mites, pollens, bacteria and protozoa, all of which will cause an immune response which is far mo
    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gulthek (12570) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:01AM (#32824804) Homepage Journal

      My wife grew up surrounded by animals and has extremely bad allergies. She didn't know what it was like to breathe normally until she moved into her first apartment that had always been animal-free.

      Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

  • In Reverse? Trees helping keep us alive? They should be trying to kill us.
  • by Rooked_One (591287) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:39AM (#32824570) Journal
    In the Midwest, our forests are just plain nasty... I would be surprised if the Japanese have anything close to ragweed. My family is originally from up north, so we are all allergic to this, but correlation does not blah blah blah

    .I wonder if they have to worry about ticks, with all the fun stuff they carry, as well over there on that island. I'm thinking the plant life just might be different. I grew up playing in a greenbelt full of poison ivy and ragweed, along with scrub trees that put off that layer of pollen that will cover your car, so after RTA, I can't say which side of the coin I prefer I'm afraid.
  • Good news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goontz (1441623) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:45AM (#32824640)
    I've actually been planning a backpacking/primitive camping trip with a buddy of mine for a while now, which was prompted in part by a random feeling of being tired of all the comforts we take for granted, as well as realizing how out of touch the majority of people are (myself included) with nature and the associated skills that come with it (the ones that many of our Dads may have taught us, and we've since forgotten). I'm glad to know that the trip will have these other benefits too.
    • I just got back from a couple of days in the woods. Man, am I now glad I've got all those comforts and I no longer take them for granted. It was 95F and 80% relative humidity (at night) and the bugs were particularly vicious. I'm sure my immune system is now way stronger, but I've got Malaria.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tehcyder (746570)
      Just watch out for people playing banjos.
  • by GoooF (135436)

    Vitamin D is a very potent vitamin which the body only can produce in direct exposure of sunlight and is stored in the fat of the body.
    It also exist in a small range of foods.
    The problem is when you don't get any exposure of sunlight and you don't eat any food which contain vitamin D.

    Vitamin D deficiency has been seen to result in a wide range of consequences such as Osteomalacia, Rickets, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, depression and low immun

    • Interesting but not really relevant.

      The article is not about being outside in the sunlight but about being in a forest (i.e. "in nature") as opposed to a city.

  • Scientific American [scientificamerican.com] recently did an article about the soil bacteria mycobacterium vaccae, which you're likely to be exposed to in a forest. Apparently it gives mice a temporary, but fairly large boost in maze solving ability. No clue if it applies to humans as well, but there's certainly no harm in getting out of the city every once in a while.
    • I remember getting off the bus at Port Authority after finishing the Long Trail. I think they should try this experiment with a maze really crowded with thousands of different rodents, most of which are hopped up on drugs and running around the maze as fast as they can, and the rest of which are carrying guns and looking at you funny. And the pizza is terrible. I bet those forestified mice wouldn't do so hot.
  • I used to get allergies (hay fever) all the time. I worked at a scout camp where we slept in canvas tents, so we were outside 100% of the time. The first year I worked there I benadryl-ed myself up all the time until I ran out, and the trading post ran out. I had to suffer with only facial tissues... but after a day they went away. And didn't come back for 2 weeks. 2 weeks later, I had allergies, but this time did not medicate. Then I went another 2 weeks... so I just learned to suffer a day and have 2 week

  • Thank you geocaching (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @08:58AM (#32824772)

    While going for a walk in the woods for its own sake is great, it's hard to convince the family and friends, sometimes, that what they really want to do is put down the remote and go for a long nature hike. This is where geocaching is so great; the kids think of it as "searching for treasure", and my friends have taken up the various challenges with excitement ("how are we going to cross the river?" "How are we going to get down from this ciff", etc. Whereas I could never convince them to go before, once there's a challenge, something to find, out there, they're all for it.

    My personal satisfaction came from the fact that two of my friends were so angry about being left behind, or just struggling to keep up in general, that they both quit smoking.

  • What if the forest is owned by Monsanto?
  • by mswhippingboy (754599) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:20AM (#32825048)
    This article assumes of course, that one does not become subject to a bear attack.
    • by archangel9 (1499897) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:09AM (#32825684)

      I grew up in a small bear-farming village, a tiny population in a state with one of the lowest levels of bears, with no bear repellent whatsoever. I had absolutely terrible bear attacks, up to and including death, eyes glued shut due to "blood" (secretions), and the need for serious surgery that didn't really help much.

      The best thing I ever did was move to a city, get bear repellent, and stay the fuck away from the bears, bears, and other bears that made my life a living hell. I didn't get bear attacks from living in the city as you so erroneously imply, I got them from being exposed to bears in the first place, and short of paving the planet, a large city with relatively few bears is in my experience an ideal environment for those who suffer from bear attacks, Manbearpig notwithstanding.

    • Walk in the forrest, and carry a .50 Desert Eagle then...
  • by JakFrost (139885) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @09:32AM (#32825192)

    Eastern Europe - Outdoor Active Lifestyle

    I grew up in a very polluted coal mining and burning part of eastern Europe and all of us kids spend their entire time outside, except for a few hours of sleeping, parents calling us to come in for dinner, which we would promptly eat and then leave again to play with friends, and the few hours a day that we would be required to be in school, but even then we would have two breaks and lunch which we would spend outside playing. Even during cold and rainy days we would be outside doing stuff with out friends, meeting up under various try spots that we knew outside. There was no air conditioning and I didn't see anyone suffering from any type of allergies or asthma that I remember but I do remember a few sickly kids that would spend their time indoors.

    Our apartment complex in the big city was covered with busy roads and tons cars and commercial traffic, we even had an actual a coal burning plant which would create the hot water for the entire housing compound right in the middle of the apartment complex and we even occasionally venture next to it to play war around there among the dumped burned off toxic leftover coke byproduct of coal burning. However, at the same time our apartment complex was next to a huge park, a farm, and with tons of trees littering the paths between the apartment buildings and throughout the city between every single street. You could walk large parts of the city during light rain and hardly get any wet just by walking under the trees!

    During each 2-month Summer vacation and 3-week or longer Winter vacation my mother would always arrange for me to go on the company sponsored camping and I would then spend weeks at a time away in the mountain and forest areas playing outdoors even more with kids and then go on hikes and outdoor tent camping events on top of being outside. We never did any indoor activities unless it was raining and even then we would find excuses to run outside and get soaking we just for fun. I spend more time getting dirty among nature as a kid then I care to remember.

    United States - Sedentary Indoor Lifestyle

    When I came to the United States later I found that most kids stayed in-doors most of the time and hardly went outside. Being an immigrant child I kept to my roots and hung out with my own kid friends spending our entire summers outside in the parks and going away on lake and camping trips on the weekends with family. The Summer and Winter camps here turned out to cost a lot more money and since they were not sponsored by my mother's work I couldn't afford to go. I tried to spend a much time as possible outside in the summer playing basketball and football with whatever friends were left in the city but since many of them went away I became sedentary and gained weight, then started spending a lot more time at the computer than I should have which in turn decreased my ability to go outside and enjoy myself.

    Now that I move out to another part of the country where there is a lot more outdoor activities I am getting myself involved in outdoor type events so that I can get back to being in nature. Airsoft has become my newest outdoor hobby and I just love the idea of literally crawling through thick woods with a replica gun just to shoot at people and have fun outside while hugging and blending in with the nature. I came out filthy as a dog from that weekend excursion but I was hooked!

    When I have kids I will guarantee that they spend their entire time outside doing activities and go away every Summer and Winter vacation to camps, no matter what I have to sacrifice for myself to afford the cost. I want my kids to be familiar with nature and be comfortable being in the woods like I was.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Reziac (43301) *

      You grew up as a NORMAL kid, as did I. This coccooned-child thing in the U.S. has only been around for the last 20-25 years, and I agree entirely, it is a bad thing. Kids need to go outside, get dirty, and learn to create their own entertainment, instead of having it thrust upon them.

      And on that note, I recall research about how kids learn: seems learning isn't absorbed and processed during the "work" periods, but rather only during the "idle" periods, when kids are just being kids. So this "go outside, roo

  • I hope this will make up for all the GOTOs I've been using.
  • I live in an area (Yellowstone National Park) that suffers from widespread Giardia parasites [wikipedia.org] in the water. Drinking infected water can be a ticket to a few days of intestinal hell. I think infection only occurs by ingesting, but bathing in infected water does give you a lot of opportunities to ingest those nasty things.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:24AM (#32826840)
    There is a discipline called "medical anthropology" which studies the traditional medicine of various cultures and how it interacts with modern medicine. EVERY culture still more or less has its folk medicine: Examples include British interest in colonics (read about Kellog's push to eat grain in the morning), the French and their livers, Germans and their hearts, Indians and meditation, Chinese and acupuncture and so on. And scientists from each culture have conducted medical studies their favorite aspect of folk medicine. To me, most of these studies are inconclusive. Thatis, some benefits, little harm, and not the cure-all promoters were seeking.
  • Truth via anecdotal: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AnAdventurer (1548515) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @11:35AM (#32827020)
    After living a year in the jungle I returned to Anchorage, Alaska in October just as the ground was starting to freeze. I was feeling a little down and the feeling didn't go away as the snow came, the temps dropped and the daylight waned. In February I looked up sometime around midday and proclaimed "I miss dirt". I know I need to be out there. I feel so much better when I am in the field and afterwards as well. Of course I may be a geek, tech savvy or whatnot, but I am no city boy. I grew up in the redwoods, even lived in a teepee when I was a kid (my dad never owned a computer in his life) and I am more comfortable sitting in the bush then I am sitting at my computer. Life forced my hand so I am forced to do the tech work for my company, but I still get to do the field work too and I swear it gets me a little high (not just the work, the being outside), it lasts for weeks. Sometimes if there is no field work to be done I will drive south until I get to the ocean and find a place with no snow and go lay in the woods on the dirt. Just to be clear, I am no hippy-dippy freak.

186,000 Miles per Second. It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW.

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