8 Benefits of Living Near Nature

Cheryl Chiew
8 Benefits of Living Near Nature
Pockets of green interspersed between high-rise buildings have given Singapore the reputation of being a ‘Garden City’. As our city continues to develop, the concrete jungle expands. But the importance of living near to and harmoniously with nature is not lost on the Singaporean people and government.
As part of the Draft Master Plan to transform Singapore into a ‘City in a Garden’, 1,000ha of park and park connectors will be added to the existing 7,800ha. By 2030, about 85% of residents will live a 10-minute walk away from their nearest park.

8 Benefits of Living Near Nature

For those who are deliberating if you should purchase property near a park, perhaps this list stating the benefits of living near nature can convince you to do so.

1. Being Near Nature Can Lower Your Stress Levels

A tremendous 92% of working Singaporeans report feeling stressed. If you are chronically stressed, spending just 20 to 30 minutes in a natural setting can help lower cortisol levels, your body’s main stress hormone. Individuals who spent this recommended amount of time in nature reported a significantly lower level of physical and psychological stress.
To get your daily dose of nature, you can choose to sit still and listen to the sounds of nature, or take a walk and observe the various flora and fauna. For example, living near MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir Park is a great choice for those who like to hike.

2. Greenery Can Motivate You to Keep Fit

Exercise is another effective way to combat stress and improve your health. It has been proven exercise can improve your mood and reduce stress levels due to increased serotonin production. If you find it hard to start, exercising in a green space can motivate you to do so as it feels easier.
One study showed participants who exercised outdoors felt the activity required less physical exertion. Additionally, you’ll also experience more positive moods. A study found “walking in a natural environment [is] more restorative than walking in urban surroundings” or an indoor exercise facility. Set yourself up for success by creating a positive feedback cycle when you choose to exercise.
Joggers running along Yuan Ching Road at Jurong Lake Gardens

3. Being Outdoors Gives You an Energy Boost

Most of us lead sedentary lives, spending 8 hours a day glued to a chair. Being outdoors for 20 minutes can give you an energy boost. It is a better, more natural way to get energised than drinking another cup of coffee.
For those who prefer a quiet location away from the CBD core, a condo near Jurong Lake Gardens is an affordable option.

4. Greenery is Good for Your Eyes

While the COVID-19 vaccination programme is being gradually rolled out in 2021, work from home arrangements are likely to endure. It becomes more important to take daily vision breaks. Ideally, you should spend two hours a day outdoors looking at green plants if you want to keep myopia at bay.
Even if you don’t go outdoors, rest your eyes by gazing at far-off trees for a few minutes every hour. You can consider properties near Cashew MRT which offer sweeping views of the Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

5. Nature Can Be Inspiring and Enhance your creativity

If you can’t figure out a tough problem at work, heading to a nearby park for a stroll might give you inspiration for a creative solution. Research has shown the combination of walking and being outdoors in nature elicited the most novel and highest quality ideas (as opposed to sitting down and being indoors).
For those working in artistic fields, this could be a useful strategy when experiencing creative blocks. If you lived in Bukit Batok, within walking distance to the Bukit Batok Nature Park, you could take short, mid-day strolls to clear your mind.
Take a stroll along a coastal boardwalk

6. Nature is Peaceful, Encouraging Better focus

Modern living is filled with countless distractions. Social media notifications, ringing phones, car horns, sirens and alarms… They collectively assault our minds and hijack our attention.
Being in nature removes the overwhelming stimuli and is a deliberate act to slow down. This allows the executive attentional system to replenish and restore focus. Alternatively, walking along a body of water surrounded by trees is a wonderful calming exercise.

7. Being Away from Hustle and Bustle Will Improve your Sleep

Living in urban Singapore means we experience moderate to high levels of light and noise pollution. This can make falling asleep difficult or disrupt your rest. Living near a park would mean there are fewer people, streetlamp glare and sound. And if you still can’t fall asleep, you can pop by the gardens for a nighttime stroll.
If you are worried about your neighbourhood being too quiet after the sun sets, consider living near the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

8. Living Near Nature Helps You Live longer

All the benefits of living near green spaces cumulate. On top of having improved physical and mental health, studies have shown that individuals living close to nature tend to live longer than those who do not.
Elderly couple sitting on a bench at Bedok Reservoir Park
Elderly couple sitting on a bench at Bedok Reservoir Park
No matter how grand or impressive the cities we live in, humans are wired to desire the outdoors. Considering all the benefits of living near nature, having a home near your favourite park makes it easier to reap these benefits.
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