Trendy 'forest bathing' supported by the Duchess of Cambridge really is good ...

Trendy 'forest bathing' really may be good for your health, research suggests.

The Duchess of Cambridge is reportedly a fan of the Japanese practice of walking slowly and thoughtfully through woodlands. 

And now a study has found people are healthier and happier if they spend at least two hours a week in nature. 

Researchers believe relaxing in a park, beach or forest gives us 'perspective on life', while also reducing stress.

They say 120 minutes a week is a 'realistic target' for most, particularly when it can be broken up into several short visits over the seven days. 

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The Duchess of Cambridge is pictured laughing with the landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White. The three co-designed the Royal Horticultural Society's Back To Nature Garden, which was open to the public at this year's Chelsea Flower Show

The Duchess of Cambridge is pictured laughing with the landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White. The three co-designed the Royal Horticultural Society's Back To Nature Garden, which was open to the public at this year's Chelsea Flower Show

The Duchess is pictured selecting plants for her garden with Ms Davies

The Duchess is pictured selecting plants for her garden with Ms Davies

The research was carried out by the University of Exeter and led by Dr Mathew White, an environmental psychologist and senior lecturer at the college of medicine and health.

'It's well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people's health and wellbeing but until now we've not been able to say how much is enough,' Dr White said. 

'The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing. 

'Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.'

Forest bathing is reportedly even said to have inspired the garden the Duchess co-designed at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. 

The Duchess, mother to Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, wanted her Chelsea garden to be a playground for children to escape into, while also being a space for grown-ups. 

Along with the landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, who co-designed her garden, the Duchess hoped incorporating elements of forest bathing would help visitors recharge their batteries. 

WHAT IS FOREST BATHING? 

Forest bathing describes the Japanese practice of walking slowly and thoughtfully through woodlands. 

The Duchess of Cambridge is reportedly a fan, with the practice being the inspiration behind her Back To Nature Garden at 2019's Chelsea Flower Show.

The idea is to take in everything around you, including the forest's smells, sounds, sights and textures. 

Studies show our blood pressure, heart rate, mood and even immune function can all be improved by spending some quiet time in forested areas.

In Japan, where rates of heart disease are among the lowest in the world, forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a vital part of their national health programme.

One theory suggests the organic compounds phytoncides, which trees emit to protect themselves from parasites and disease, could benefit humans. 

Forest bathing may also calm people by giving them focus and removing them from the stresses of modern life. 

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