A collaborative study between the BBC, makers of Planet Earth II, and the University of California Berkeley has found that watching nature documentaries significantly boosts our happiness and reduces stress and anxiety.
Now anyone who has seen the nail-biting sequence known simply as “Baby iguanas v snakes” will be disagreeing rather emphatically right now. We too are still recovering from that particular heart-stopping drama. But hear us out.
Commissioned to mark the launch of Planet Earth II in the US, the study was conducted by BBC Worldwide’s in-house researchers and Professor Dacher Keltner, an emotions expert and professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.
In a global project, the researchers used cutting-edge facial mapping technology on 7,500 participants from a broad range of nationalities – including the US, UK, Singapore, India, South Africa, and Australia – to read their emotions in real time as they watched short clips of a range of television programs, including the news, dramas, and, of course, …