COX LANDSCAPE & GARDEN DESIGN
where art meets horticulture
For excellence in Landscape & Garden Design
3934 Wilton S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
THE MANY HEALTH/WELLNESS BENEFITS
OF A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED LANDSCAPE
Stress is a killer. We all deal with it on a daily basis. The modern world with all its ‘conveniences’ simply has
increased the stress we endure, not lessened it as advertisers would have us believe. Our stress levels and our
blood pressure are directly affected by our environment. After a tough day in the concrete jungle it only makes
sense to immerse yourself in, or at least view from a window, the beauty that a quality landscape can provide.
Much research has revealed that a tremendous stress reducer can be found just outside our windows.
Dr. Roger Ulrich is one of the leaders in this research. He says, “The notion that certain types of nature settings
reduce stress is underpinned partly by findings from a score of scientific studies on populations other than
healthcare patients. This research has convincingly demonstrated that visual exposure to real or simulated views
of nature produces substantial emotional or psychological and physiological recovery from stress within three
to five minutes at most, or as quickly as 20 seconds in some bodily systems. Investigators have reliably found
that stress-reducing or restorative effects of looking at nature are manifested as a collection of positive changes
characterized by heightened positive feelings, reduced negative emotions such as fear or anger, and changes in
physiological systems including lower stress mobilization (cardiovascular, electrocortical, neuroendocrine,
It can also have pain-reducing effects. As I get older, I appreciate this aspect more and more.
Dr. Mark Berman at UofM said, “performance on memory and attention tests improved by 20 percent after study
subjects paused for a walk through an arboretum.”
On an everday basis we don’t have access to public parks or backcountry wilderness but we can still achieve
great stress-reduction and other health benefits from our home landscapes. Francis Kou of the University of
Illinois said that people living near green spaces: coped better with everyday stress and hardship; were less
agressive and less violent; performed better on tests of concentration; and managed problems more effectively.
Nicole Wisniewski of Grand View Media quotes Dr. Wallace J. Nichols at the California Academy of Sciences
as saying, being in nature and around water shifts our brain toward hope and compassion and away from stress
I have found these benefits to be true with my own landscape. It provides an immediate escape and relaxation
point from the stressors of this world. Even at night, and in the winter, I have come to appreciate the inestimable
value of my own garden sanctuary retreat and would love to have the opportunity to initiate or enhance your
- Stephen Cox
The Environments Impact on Stress Ulrich, Zimring, Quan & Joseph 2006
Research Shows Nature Helps with Stress
Jared Green (https://aslathedirt.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/arboretum.jpg)
3 Human Benefits of Green Spaces Dr. Susan Barton Univ. of Delaware 2009
4 Do You Need Some Green Time? Article in Turf Magazine, November 2017