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The impact of nature sounds on health

The impact of nature sounds on health

There is nothing like listening to the water of a river flow or the birds sing to feel calm, reveal several studies on the subject. Results to be taken into consideration to integrate these sounds into its environment… as much as possible.

The natural environment has more benefits than one might think. This is according to a scientific study published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ). Researchers at the University of Ottawa, Canada, looked at sounds produced at 221 sites in 68 national parks around the world. Their finding shows that the sound of water improves cognitive performance and morale, while the gentle chirping of birds reduces stress by 28%. Work has also focused on the beneficial properties of trees. "Forest bathing" lowers blood pressure and heart rate, lowers blood sugar, and boosts the immune system.

Rest your mind, guarantee of good health

If scientists have trouble justifying these results, one hypothesis stands out:an acoustic environment with more natural sounds than urban, or other, is an indicator of a safer environment, a guarantee of psychic rest. Fluid sounds, such as water from a waterfall, also make it possible to mask the more aggressive sounds of city traffic and various human activities, sources of stress. Noise pollution and its effects on health have been better known for about ten years. Thus, a 2014 study published in the journal The Lancet showed that noise exposure would disrupt sleep, inducing more daytime sleepiness, increase the incidence of cardiovascular disease and reduce children's cognitive performance at school. Results confirmed by work carried out in 2015 by the learned society:the American Heart Association concludes that noise increases blood pressure and heart rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 800,000 years of life would be wasted in Europe by this scourge.

Reconnect with nature

To reduce the impact of an excessively noisy sound environment, several public health actions have been implemented at national and European level. The European directive of June 25, 2002 notably defined the community bases for the fight against noise and imposed strategic noise maps in urban areas. Protecting the sound tranquility of citizens is also at the heart of the 3 e and 4 th "national environmental health plan" (PNSE). Several structures dedicated to early childhood (nurseries, schools) or care (hospitals) are, for example, installing noise detectors and establishing quiet times to limit unpleasant noise pollution. Recreating the sounds of nature is a trend that is slowly developing in business, following the concept of "biophilia". This term, coined by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, designates the love that human beings have for all natural ecosystems. Employers have been able to verify (2015 study) that contact with nature increases creativity, reduces nervous tension and limits absenteeism. Reconnecting with nature therefore not only involves the re-vegetation of workspaces, but also by listening to the sounds of nature, a good way to be more peaceful and productive.