Photo credit: In his essay, Walking, Thoreau said: "In wildness is the preservation of the world." The same might go for our health. Credit: SNEHIT/Shutterstoclk

Time spent close to nature is good for our health, numerous studies have shown. What is much harder to establish, however, is how and why this occurs. Now a paper claims the immune system may be the primary pathway through which exposure to the natural world can lead toa wide array of health benefits.

Modern medicine and plumbing - which brings us clean water and removes our waste - have doubled our lifespans, but technology sometimes comes with a cost to our health. It seems urban living is part of that, with research linking lack of access to the open air and relatively pristine environments to an astonishing range of conditions from depression and ADHD to cancer. The effect nature is thought to have on us has earned the name Biophilia. Now a paper attributing these diverse benefits to the immune system has been published in Frontiers of Psychology. ...[Continue reading on IFLScience]