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 45 Yoga with Adriene The internet’s best friend is—finally—finding her own flow. Arts & Culture Garden Issue 45 Piet Oudolf The Dutch designer bringing life—and death—to traditional gardens. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Thomas MacDonell The conservationist transforming the Highlands. Arts & Culture Design Issue 45 The New Craftsmen From the Outer Hebrides to central London, Catherine Lock is celebrating the crafts heritage of Great Britain. Arts & Culture Music Issue 45 Gerard & Kelly On dance, domesticity and the giants of modernism. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Hang in There How to make the best of a bad job.