Staff from the Medical University of Silesia investigated the benefits of winter walking

Zofia i Marek Bazak/East News

Employees of the Silesian Medical University have co-authored a study that examines the benefits of spending time in a snowy landscape. This is the first study to show that these benefits can be achieved by being out in nature in small groups rather than individually. 

The study was conducted in winter and included women with an average age of around 24 years. Before and after a walk in a snowy forest in the Silesian countryside, the participants measured their attitudes towards their own bodies. In addition, a few weeks beforehand, the women also filled in tools measuring self-compassion and contact with nature.

The study shows that contact and the opportunity to walk in a snowy forest is associated with a number of benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. What’s more, it may be that this very contact helps us to reduce negative thoughts and emotions related to our perception of our own bodies.

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Medicine and biotechnology