Alex Hutchinson lately wrote an article “Nature Is Medicine. But What’s the Right Dose?” for Exterior Journal. He described the app naturequant (for “quantifying nature”) codeveloped by three buddies, an information knowledgeable, a software program man, and an knowledgeable in environmental psychology. I wrote a earlier weblog “The Therapeutic Energy of Nature” on this subject. Naturequant is designed to encourage us to get out into nature by serving to to quantify the optimistic results of our publicity to nature. Think about an addition to a health tracker that lets you understand how many “nature factors” you simply earned in your stroll. Clearly you’d earn extra in Central Park than doing the identical stroll down fifth Avenue. They presently have an app NatureDose for smartphones that does this, in beta testing. It ought to solely be a matter of time earlier than they’re partnered up with makers of health trackers to supply it on watches. I’m usually of the view that tech can are inclined to subtract extra from our appreciation of nature than add to it. However that is the sort that may be left in your wrist or in your pocket and the outcomes examined later, somewhat than it always throughout your exercise.

One characteristic that’s already engaged on the positioning is “NatureScore”: you’ll be able to sort in an deal with, and discover out the placement’s NatureScore, from 0 to 100 (or 0 to six “leaves”). Right here’s my deal with:

That is under common, which is disappointing, I assumed I’d get extra factors for the little park in entrance of our home, however I suppose we lose factors for the fairy busy Butterfield Boulevard, additionally out entrance. So I can’t simply hand around in entrance of my home to ring up a superb NatureDose. Happily, there are a lot of bigger parks and open areas close by. Nevertheless I used to be upset that Morgan Hill Group park additionally will get a low rating:

Clearly the algorithm wants some work for parks in city areas, because it offers a decrease rating to Group Park than a location on the four-lane freeway Monterey street:

However the algorithm does a greater job on much less developed settings like open areas. Coyote Valley Open Area protect will get over 90:

And Uvas Canyon County Park, one in every of my favorites, will get a near-perfect rating:

Just about all people agrees that it’s a good suggestion to spend extra time in nature, and if the sort of know-how motivates folks to do it, very similar to step counters can encourage folks to stroll extra, I’m all for it.

I need to admit that studying about this impressed me to extend my “naturedose”. I’ve been spending most of my outings biking recently. Apart from the attractive and park-like Coyote creek path, a number of that is on roads, even when they’re much less busy rural ones. I have to get out mountaineering extra. In a few of our native open areas and county parks, it’s fairly simple to get to spots the place there may be little or no signal of civilization. I’m positively going to get again into mountaineering extra and go to these areas.