Researchers have revealed that watching birds is an activity that will keep your mental health in shape and could save you from the risk of depression, anxiety and stress.
The findings are based on a study involving hundreds of people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities. Researchers say that bird watching has mental benefits and people living in and around neighborhoods where there are ample of birds, shrubs, and trees are at lower risk of suffering from mental disorders.
Scientists from University of Exeter in the UK found the people who spent less time outdoors than usual in the previous week were more likely to experience anxiety and depression. Common types of birds, including blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows were seen, scientists found through the study.
The study was unable to find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but found a link between the number of birds they could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighbourhood.
Previous studies had found that the ability of most people to identify different species is low, suggesting that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides well-being.
“This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being,” said Dr Daniel Cox of University of Exeter.
Researchers also found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon.
“Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live,” Cox added.