An excerpt from Jim Thornton's essay
Recapture your Wild Side
"The renowned Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson wrote, 'It seems that whenever people are given a free choice, they move to open, tree-studded land on prominences overlooking water.'
His theory of "biophilia" (an attraction to living systems) suggests that humans have evolved an affinity for the natural settings that nurtured their hominid ancestors. It's found across continents and cultures, this preference for those natural features.
From Central Park to Augusta National, grass, trees, and water views define natural beauty. It's even where many of us end up when we die -- cemeteries are designed with the same elements. And yet the 21st century American man spends an estimated 90 percent of his time sealed off from nature -- in an office, at a desk, in his house, behind the wheel, on the couch watching tv, or in bed sleeping in air that's often artificially cooled and dehumidified.
The ultimate cost of this separation from his natural state is impossible to calculate.
But in recent years, scientists have measured enough specific benefits of exposure to the outdoors -- less anger, more productivity, quicker thinking, faster healing, longer lives -- that the lesson seems obvious. We need to get out more."