A new study published in Ecopsychology has found that hiking can improve happiness and reduce stress. The research, conducted in Britain, followed nearly 2,000 people who chose whether or not they wanted to walk, and how often. After observing the behavior of the people in this sizable group, they found that after about 3 months, the people who had walked in nature at least once per week reported feeling happier and experienced less stress.
But not all hikes are created equally. The researchers observed that shorter, more frequent hikes seemed to confer more benefits than longer, less frequent hikes. The paper’s co-authors recommend at least three short walks in nature per week for the best benefits.