Karoshi is the term coined in Japan, starting in the late eighties, to refer to the unfortunate labor phenomenon that affects, to this day, the nation of the rising sun: the high rate of deaths caused by strokes or heart attacks caused due to overwork.
Having bad habits, such as sitting in front of a screen after work or going to school without taking time to enjoy the paradisiacal beauties that nature offers for free, can be detrimental to our health, resulting in a decrease in the efficiency of the immune system and a worsening of moods.
As a means of solving this problem, the Japan Forest Agency proposed to the country the practice of Shinrin Yoku, a relaxation method that consists of taking walks through green areas under the premise of letting the forest enter within oneself: to the lungs when we breathe the scent of grass, our eyes when we admire the beauty of the environment, our skin when we feel the breeze from the trees and our ears when listening to the song of the birds.
This tactic, increasingly common in Japanese society and promoted by a large number of companies that encourage their employees to take these "forest baths", is based on the results of pioneers in research on the impact of, medium environment in health.
Yoshifumi Miyazaki, Physiological Anthropologist and Vice Chancellor of the Chiba University Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, told Outside Magazine: “During our evolution we have been 99.9% in natural environments. Our physiological functions are still adapted to this environment ”. With this, he maintains that the human species is naturally conditioned to function in green areas, such as forests and parks, in which it innately and more easily finds well-being and comfort.
The researcher Miyazaki, originally from Kobe prefecture, conducted a study together with his collaborator Juyoung Lee in which it was shown that the body of subjects who usually take walks in natural areas show an average decrease of 1.4% in pressure blood, a decrease of 12.4% of the hormone cortisol, responsible for causing diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's, as well as a reduction of 5.8% in the probability of suffering a heart attack.
For his part, the professor of the Tokyo School of Medicine, Qing Li, demonstrated that constant contact with trees and nature helps improve the resistance of people's immune systems, making them less prone to infections and diseases. Lí says that breathing the pure air of the trees leads to an increase in the production of white blood cells, the blood cells responsible for the immune response.
The solution to the problems caused by work stress, far from consisting of a high expense by the public health system or one's own pockets, may be just a walk in the park.
Although not everyone has the possibility of taking walks inside a forest because currently most people live in large cities where this option is limited, the possibility of going out to the small park of the colony and enjoying the simple contacts with nature. Don't be discouraged, go out and enjoy nature.