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Study to trial outdoor swimming as treatment for depression

Study to trial outdoor swimming as treatment for depression
Scientists hope ‘ecotherapy’ could replace drugs such as antidepressants

Outdoor swimming could be prescribed to treat depression as scientists study the benefits of taking a dip in nature over medication.

Experts at the universities of Portsmouth and Sussex, partnering with the NHS, are to examine how ecotherapy affects the illness.

Ecotherapyoffering therapeutic intervention in naturehas already been shown to benefit mood.

Immersion in cold water reduces stress levels and generates a greater sense of wellbeing, studies have found.

And there is also emerging evidence to suggest that regular open water bathing could have a positive impact on a person’s mental health.

The researchers hope to put this evidence to the test in a clinical trial to look at whether outdoor swimming could work better than drugs such as anti-depressants.

A spokesman for the University of Portsmouth said: “研究, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care リサーチ, will provide preliminary support for using outdoor swimming as an alternative to antidepressants or talking therapies.

Co-author Dr Heather Massey, from the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, 前記: “In this new study we are looking at outdoor swimming as part of social prescribing, which looks to support members of the community who are self-referred or referred by a number of professional organisations to community activities that will support them.

<p>Immersion in cold water reduces stress levels in everyday life</p>

Immersion in cold water reduces stress levels in everyday life

It’s a step up in terms of scientific rigour.

The trial comes as levels of depression and anxiety are at an all-time high, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

But NHS waiting times and demand continue to grow despite the training of talking therapists.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the study can email spnt.outside@nhs.net for more information.

Swimming lessons will take place at Parliament Hill in London, Lenches Lake in Worcestershire, and Saunton in North Devon.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. アメリカ合衆国で, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.