One hundred and twenty minutes in nature is the sweet spot for self-reported health and wellbeing, even among those who are ill or disabled, according to a large new study from the University of Exeter.

Using data from nearly 20,000 people in England, the researchers found that people were more likely to report good health and psychological wellbeing if they spent two hours outdoors per week, whether that time was condensed or spread out over seven days.

The effect was the same for both men and women, regardless of age, ability level and illness, and whether the green space was in a poor or wealthy area. But it disappeared when outdoor time was less than two hours.

The findings can be used to support health practitioners in making recommendations, the investigators said. Since most of the study’s nature excursions took place within two miles of home, including local urban green spaces, “two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit,” said lead author Mathew White, Ph.D.

Read the study