Thérèse Henkin reports on genetics, childhood habits, a helpful app and the benefits of nature.
BREATHE EASY Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air and the sounds of nature. As little as 30 minutes in a park each week could make us happier and healthier, according to Dr Danielle Shanahan, a research fellow at Wellington’s Zealandia wildlife sanctuary. In a study of more than 1500 people aged 18 to 70, Dr Shanahan found that visiting green spaces at least once a week for half an hour or more could prevent seven per cent of depression cases and nine per cent of high-blood pressure cases. MANUKA FARMS Medical-grade manuka honey is in such high demand that a government-backed initiative is encouraging New Zealand farmers to grow manuka ‘scrub’, rather than eradicate it, as done in the past. Manuka ‘plantations’ would not only boost the value of our honey industry, but also do the environment a favour by helping to control erosion and improve water quality – and make the honey bees happy.