The Attraction to Nature – Biophila Effect
The Biophilia Effect
The Outdoor Fitness program is based on the core belief that nature is perhaps the most powerful source for personal health and fitness. When you workout in the fresh air, you not only enhance your physical-mental-emotional condition, you also deepen the connection you have with the environment. It’s easy to overlook, since most of us spend so much time indoors, but you and I, like all human beings, have a deep connection to the natural world. Instinctively you know this to be true. This connection to nature is what is called the biophilia effect.
The concept of biophilia, which literally means “love of life,” was first hypothesized by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson – Wilson theorized that human beings have an intrinsic and emotional affiliation to other living things. Simply, we are drawn to other life. This is a deep, genetic affinity, rooted in our DNA, the vestige of what was, for early humans, a key to survival. The bond to nature’s many forms of life that we carry inside us is that primal, and that powerful.
For a personal glimpse into biophilia, think about your very own home. Do you keep plants in your living room, flowers in window boxes, or tend a garden? Do you have pets: a cat curled up on your couch, a dog bounding around in the backyard, a goldfish swimming around in a fish tank? Do you light candles or stoke a fire in your fireplace, and do you feel soothed when surrounded by the soft light of flame? These are all examples of ways we bring nature into our homes and personal spaces, a reflection of how much we need to maintain the deep connection we feel to the natural world.