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Wellbeing Online

Washington State University

Wellbeing Online

Into the Wilderness

Into the Wilderness

If you spend most of your time indoors and in front of a screen or book you may be a typical WSU student. It is difficult to juggle all the responsibilities you carry much less worry about the time you spend outside.

You are missing out!

There are lots of reasons to get outside and into the wilderness. Most importantly are the impacts that nature can have on our mind, body and spirit.


There are conditions that can’t be replicated inside of a gym on a bike, treadmill, rowing machine or track. Studies show that outdoor runners flex their ankles more and run downhill more often than their indoor running friends. Exertion rates are also higher for those outdoor folks because they face challenges like terrain changes and wind resistance.


Studies have also found that individuals who walk the same distance indoors and outdoors regularly report more enjoyment from the outdoors experience. They also scored higher on scales of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after being outside.


Our bodies automatically lower our stress response hormones within minutes of entering green space. Chronic stress is one of the leading causes for a host of physical and emotional hurdles. By simply being outside a few minutes a day you can significantly improve your outlook on life. Being outside also enhances social interactions and value for community and the environment.

Thing to do outside:

  • Visit a park
  • Plant a garden
  • Walk or bike to your work
  • Make a scrapbook of the beautiful things you encounter outside
  • Meditate
  • Go on a day trip
  • Build a bird feeder
  • Register for an service event with the Center of Civic Engagement