For thousands of years, people have dimly suspected that exposure to the natural world might be good for them. But now Freddy McFrog, Professor of Behaviour Management at the University of North Uxbridge, has carried out a study which proves it.
A randomised sample of 374 adult humans was divided into two groups, ‘Walkers’ and ‘Pill-Takers’. The endorphin levels of each group were measured before, during and after either a walk in the countryside or a dose of anti-depressants. While the average endorphin levels of both groups were similar at the start of the experiment, they increased noticeably in the Walkers while they were out in the local nature reserve, and dropped slightly in the Pill-Takers immediately upon consumption of their medicine.
Staggeringly, three hours later, the Walkers’ endorphin levels remained high, while those of the Pill-Takers had fallen further. According to the report, some of the Pill-Takers even demanded more pills, ‘in the misguided belief that this would reverse the effects of the first dose.’
The results of the experiment show that, even in the twenty-first century, nature is still a more efficacious drug than pharmacological nurture. ‘This is a stunning discovery,’ said McFrog. ‘It seems that science has yet to reproduce the benefits that can be gained by simply heading to the nearest green space. It certainly gives us a new target to aim for.’
The project, involving a team of fifty researchers, was funded by WeMindU, an international health and technology conglomerate where McFrog is a consultant. The report has now been published in the leading science journal, Knowledge.
‘Previously, the idea that strolling up hill and down dale might make you happy was a truth that people had merely intuited by observation and reflection,’ said McFrog. ‘Now it has been established by science and become a fact.’
When asked what the difference was between truth and facts, he replied, ‘Truth is a layman’s concept. It’s what we call “subjective” – it’s just your opinion. But facts are science: they have been checked by scientists. You can’t argue with facts.’
But what would happen if another scientist were to dispute those facts? McFrog’s reply was blunt. ‘Then he would be wrong, dangerously wrong. At best a useful idiot, playing into the hands of right-wing libertarian fascists. We would not publish him in any peer-reviewed journals. And of course he would be erased from the internet.’
Based on the results of McFrog’s study, WeMindU is now producing an app, TreesPlease, to continuously monitor its user’s endorphin levels. If it detects they are lower than average, it will automatically switch into ‘nature’ mode, with options like flowers, birdsong, and trees rustling gently in the breeze.
‘TreesPlease will be the perfect solution for those who are unable or unwilling to leave their homes,’ said Taylor Sunshine, a WeMindU marketing specialist, ‘or for those living in human-heavy areas where nature has been eliminated.’
The app costs £0.99 to purchase, but will be pre-installed on all new operating systems by regulations made under the Pandemic Act 2020. ‘The benefits of this technology will be enormous,’ said Doreen Norbert, Minister for Science and Religion. ‘At the cost of a mere £100 million to the taxpayer, it’s a bargain.’
‘We anticipate that the app will succeed where drugs have failed,’ said McFrog, who is on the government’s WISE committee. ‘It will optimise people’s mental health. And make it much easier to lock them down next time we need to.’