Watching Birds Near Your Home is Good for Your Mental Health

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Watching Birds Near Your Home is Good for Your Mental Health
Kingfisher Bird (Image courtesy: Pixabay)

Most of the people have the hobby to go outside and watch birds. They like to identify birds and observe their actions and habits in their natural habitat as a recreation. In fact, watching birds from home brings nature to life. It feels relaxing as a sitting in your yard or as vigorous as a hike in the bush.

A new study also provides evidence on other health benefits of watching birds. The study by the University of Exeter suggests that people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs, and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress.

Scientists found health benefits on the mental health of people who like to watch birds. In the previous study which was held in 2012, scientists found that the ability of most people to identify different species is low. It suggested that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides well-being.

In this study, scientists involved 270 people from different ages, incomes, and ethnicities. They surveyed their mental health and found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.

Scientists conducted an extensive survey on the number of birds in the morning and afternoon. They studied morning and afternoon bird numbers. The number of birds seen is the afternoon was less than the number of birds seen in the morning. They found that the lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress was associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon.

Volunteers reported that they saw common types of birds during the study. For example, blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows.

A study led, Dr. Daniel Cox said, “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being. Birds around the home and nature, in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.”

The positive association between birds, shrubs and trees and better mental health applied, even after controlling for variation in neighborhood deprivation, household income, age and a wide range of other socio-demographic factors.