The idea that getting out to the country is good for our health is as old as medicine itself. Modern science seems to bear out the idea, with a host of studies demonstrating the therapeutic effects of exposure to nature. Japanese scientists have demonstrated that long walks in the woods produce lower levels of cortisol—a hormone linked to stress—and reduce blood pressure. As to why nature makes us feel better, the verdict is still out. In 1984, biologist E.O. Wilson proposed the “biophilia” theory, which suggests that we evolved to prefer the sight of resource-rich environments—the blue of clean water, the green of fertile fields and forests—and that this has led to a salutary neural response. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Alice Sheppard On dance as a channel to commune with the body—even when it hurts. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Dr. Woo Meet the tattoo artist who's inked LA. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Walt Odets The author and clinical psychologist on why self-acceptance is the key to a gay man's well-being. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 47 A Picture of Health Xiaopeng Yuan photographs the world’s weirdest wellness cures. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Chani Nicholas and Sonya Passi Inside the astrology company on a mission to prove workplace well-being is more than a corporate tagline. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Julia Bainbridge On the life-enhancing potential of not drinking alcohol.