New Title Tuesday · non fiction

The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams

The New Title Tuesday selection this week, THE NATURE FIX – Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams, takes what we already know to be true and supports it with scientific research.  For example, even in elementary school, indoor recess was never as fun as the playground.  As a teacher, I also observed the change in my students when they were allowed to utilize the shady and quiet outdoor classroom. In her new book, Williams

Publisher Summary: An intrepid investigation into NatureFix_2 with frame.jpgnature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author. For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.

From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to groves of eucalyptus in California, Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health, and creativity. Delving into completely new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas—and the answers they yield—are more urgent than ever.

Williams, an award winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, among many others, writes that there is a lot of data proving the positive effects of nature on mental and physical health but we are experiencing an “epidemic dislocation from the outdoors.”  She has divided the book into five parts with the first part explaining the two major theories that have fueled the research to determine how our human brains are affected by nature as well as the lack of access to nature.

Now, you could look up these studies through the library’s EBSCOhost database, read the procedures, control group results, and draw your own conclusions.  But in The Nature Fix Williams not only reports on the studies but participates in some as well, making this an entertaining and accessible read.

You might be tempted to say you don’t need studies to believe “being-outside: good and not-enough-nature: bad.”

However, I contend that the research Williams shares and coalesces in her book compel us to reconsider how we live our lives and parent our children.  The Nature Fix informs the reader of the health and mental costs of our collective indoor lives.  This research can inform why we as a society should change our lifestyles, our work environments and schools to keep citizens healthy.

So, take this book with you to the park or your backyard and listen to the birds sing and enjoy the scent blooming spring flowers.

Happy reading, Susan C.

Also by Williams:

Breasts – aBreasts history.png Natural and Unnatural History:    Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer – even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial – and so vulnerable?

 

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