August 4th

Teenager boy in the park with a golden retriever dog

New research  sheds light on the specific impact that spending time in nature has on our microbiome. Microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, fungi and viruses – that live inside and on the human body.

Australian scientists surveyed human skin and nasal microbiota in subjects that were exposed to air, soil and leaves from different urban green spaces in three different parts of the world – Australia, the UK and India. They tracked the microbiota transfer from the environment to the human body after these exposure events. The found that microbial richness and diversity increased after urban green space exposure in both skin and nasal samples.

The study indicates that exposure to urban green space can alter human microbiota composition. It suggests that increased exposure to outdoor environments has the potential to increase microbial diversity, which could lead to fewer chronic diseases.

To learn more about the many benefits of the green spaces around us (including our own backyards!) to our health and well-being, check out the TurfMutt Foundation’s Living Landscapes Fact Book or visit