Why being Australian is good for your health
It’s official. We’re not called the Lucky Country for nothing. Here’s the proof
Beaches, bush, rainforests, reefs, rivers, mountains, lakes, islands, deserts… We really do have it all. We’re #blessed with 19 beautiful World Heritage Sites and countless national parks. Then there are those green spaces just down the road from your front door – great for getting your sweat on, and for helping to clean the air we breathe. Even better? They’re a major win for our mental wellbeing. According to Victoria Houlden, from the University of Warwick, the theory of biophilia suggests humans have an innate desire to connect with nature due to the landscapes we evolved in. Result? We may still experience positive emotions in natural environments. Research backs this up: findings in the journal
Psychological Science show that people living in greener urban areas displayed fewer signs of depression and anxiety, while a separate study in Environmental Science & Technology found moving to a green space has long-term positive effects on our wellbeing. Makes sense to us! Blue spaces also count. Moving water creates good-vibe negative ions that effectively counteract the positive ions created by all the icky stuff – such as pollution, air-con, electronics – that make us pissed off and aggro. Columbia University found that negative ion generators can relieve depression as effectively as antidepressants. Crikey!
We’ve also got beaut weather. In 2014, researcher Ed Darack used factors such as temp and humidity to create a list of the world’s best weather spots. Aussie locations – Adelaide and the Manjimup region of WA – nabbed two of the top 10 places. Queenslanders and New South Welshmen may well argue their postcodes trump them all!