No, being out in nature is not a waste of time, and there are many benefits from spending time in nature. Let's take a look at some of the positive benefits that have been associated with spending time in nature:
- Increased physical health. Not only will people who spend time in nature get more fit (compared to a non-nature spending time group), but they will also be more physically healthy. There's a famous paper where hospital patients had increased recovery rates by being exposed to nature!
- Increased cognitive performance. Spending time in nature or the wild has been shown to have a positive effects on the overall cognitive performances of the people who do it.
- Reduced stress and anxiety. I find this to be pretty obvious, since I always feel relaxed when I am surrounded by wilderness or nature. But there's also scientific studies to back up this claim.
- Increased psychological well-being. Spending time in or close to nature can apparently have a positive impact on the psychological well-being of a person, which is great when you consider the high rate of psychological problems many societies have today. Maybe spending more time outside will help lower this rate?
- And more, like feeling of increased spirituality etc.
And these are not just random claims I make, because the effects of spending time in nature has been studied a lot by social scientists. However, ecologists like myself haven't been that interested in this topic yet, but we're seeing an increased amount of papers published in this field lately. There is some uncertainty as to exactly what it takes for nature to have an effect. Is it all the "greeness", the biodiversity, the perceived biodiversity, or something else? We're not quite sure yet, but I think we will learn more about this in the coming decade.
If you want to learn a bit about this topic, then I would suggest checking out a paper called "What are the Benefits of Interacting with Nature?" by L. E. Keniger et al. , which can be found at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3709294/. This is a meta-study that goes into detail about this exact question, and takes a closer look at how different cultures perceive the benefits from interacting with nature. There seem to be a lot of cultural differences, so it's an interesting read.
And to finish this, let me share a photo I took of a natural setting that certainly made me have increased well-being:
This is high up in the mountains in Norway, in the middle of nowhere. Not another human anywhere close to me, just silence and nature!
I think it depends if a person loves nature or not. If a person loves the wild its not a waste of time. It is a time for the person to enjoy and take some time off from the hectic work life that one usually faces in reality. It can boost productivity and encourages family time.
Alot of people spend all of time at the office and seldom step out and having nature watch time is really good to help as a remedy to stress.
It's also a time for families to bond and kids can get some time off from watching their favorite handphones all the time and then get to know what nature feels like.
It's a time to really see nature and remember that when we throw any waste into the rivers or forest, it can damage the ecosystem indirectly. By going to the forest, one can learn the importance of keeping in touch with nature and not take the forest for granted. Imagine one day, our next generation only can view any animals at the museum and no longer we can see the real ones due to extinction by man.
Finite life have infinite value, and therefore, anything you ever do is wasting time.
However, not doing anything is an action in it on itself, and also wasting time.
Hence, might as well do things you find meaningful or simply enjoyable.
A waste of time is time spent when you're not doing anything that has objective. Enjoying nature provides stress relief, an avenue for commercial tourism, and develops greater awareness about our world.
I think the exact opposite. Enjoying nature is how we connect to this planet. If anything humans need to connect to nature more and disconnect from the WWW. A lot of research studies show that we are happier, lower stress levels and live healthier lives when we are connected with nature
I think that whether nature (or anything else for that matter) is a waste of time is such a personal concept. What is a waste of time to one person might be seen as a great use of time to someone else.
In my opinion, I couldn't disagree with you more. I really love being out in nature for a few reasons. Fisrtly it is a real way to disconnect from our busy lives -a way to be 'in the moment' - enjoy the sounds and the colors. I see getting into nature as one from of mindfulness, as we are fully focussed on the world around us. We are becoming more and more glued to our devices, and the internet, and so going into nature is a way to get away from all of this.
I also think that getting into nature is a great way to get ourselves moving and more active!