Dawn Chorus - Keep hearing and enjoying nature

Can the sounds of nature increase your levels of well-being?

Contributed by James Pocock

09/05/2024 00:00:00 • 3 min read

As hearing care experts, we know the impact that your hearing ability can have on your physical and mental well-being.

People who take action on their hearing loss generally report being happier, less depressed and less isolated. And 95% of people who have treated their hearing loss say that hearing aids have improved their quality of life.

There is also increasing evidence that being close to nature can have a positive impact on our well-being.

In a 2023 paper, scientists discovered that even just ten minutes in nature a day over a period of eight days increased the well-being levels of the 500 volunteers. The study concludes, “In a randomised controlled experiment with 500 participants, we found that those participating in nature-based activities reported higher levels of well-being than those in the control group.”

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Sounds of nature

So for those that may struggle to physically get out and enjoy nature, could just the sounds themselves have a positive effect?

A new study by the University of Gloucestershire has been launched to find out.

Sounds such as birdsong, waterfalls and sea waves will be recorded and then played through immersive sound systems in care homes to see whether these have a positive impact on the residents’ well-being.

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The project, led by Professor Abigail Gardner, aims to ‘bring the outside in.’ On the University of Gloucestershire’s website, Gardner says the research “will enable a detailed assessment and development of approaches to identifying natural sounds as a tool for enhancing well-being in older people in care homes and other settings. It uses immersive audio technology to expand the sonic world for care home residents whose daily environment, routines and health conditions often mean they have little access to natural sound.”

The study will last for two years and we look forward to seeing what the results show and how these can be used to help older people in the future.


“A Global study on Wellbeing and Quality of Life”, YouGov, 24,000 adults, across 14 countries, December 2021.

Folie 1 (bihima.com)

The benefits of citizen science and nature‐noticing activities for well‐being, nature connectedness and pro‐nature conservation behaviours - Pocock - 2023 - People and Nature - Wiley Online Library

New research investigates if sounds of nature improve wellbeing of care home residents - University of Gloucestershire (glos.ac.uk)