More fitness programming is available in outdoor spaces these days. Interestingly, studies show that green settings offer more than just additional places to be active—being outdoors may help people who are experiencing pain.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide in South Australia investigated how and why green-space exposure may improve pain outcomes. Their research review found that time spent in green spaces was linked with lower stress levels and better mental health, conditions associated with pain. Also, when people are in green, outdoor settings, they’re exposed to environmental microbiomes, phytoncides (antimicrobial compounds derived from plants), negative air ions, natural sights and sounds, and sunlight. Studies suggest that green spaces also facilitate physical and social activity.

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