An app that tracks how much time you spend indoors and outdoors

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You already know that getting outside is beneficial for your health. But what if your smartphone could track how much time you spend outdoors?

NatureQuant, a University of Oregon offshoot, has just released NatureDose, an app that measures your time indoors and out—and how green that time is—using technology, big data, and artificial intelligence.

According to a growing body of evidence, time spent in nature decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol. But how long does it take, and what are the advantages of different locations?

According to Chris Minson, the Kenneth H. and Kenda M. Singer Professor in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon, your NatureDose score provides an accurate measurement.

He notes that the score might be used by doctors or insurance companies to promote health and generate “nature prescriptions” as well as by individuals to set objectives and improve habits.

“A lot of people count their steps and attempt to get to 10,000 each day,” Minson adds. “We feel that the location in which you take those steps is essential.”

University of Oregon

The initiative involves numerous academic initiatives within the university, including Innovation, Data Science, the Environment, and Sport and Wellness.

Minson and NatureQuant received funding from the University Venture Development Fund to assist them in launching their new software.

NatureDose has the potential to be a useful research tool as well. Scientists are now trying to figure out how the app could help them study the effects of nature on anxiety and sadness.