Scientists are investigating whether prescribing holidays, music or a change of scene might boost our immune system and help us to fight off disease.
In tests on mice, they discovered that sprucing up their living space, with a running wheel, toys and a colourful box, did wonders for their T cells.
These cells are essential for immunity and help to protect against disease.
The Queen Mary University of London researchers said the same approach should be tested on humans.
In their study, the mice living in the enriched surroundings of a larger cage with lots of stimulation – as opposed to a plain, old cage of sawdust – were found to be better prepared for fighting infections.
I – Word Understanding
Sprucing up – to make something cleaner and more attractive or interesting
Sawdust – tiny particles of wood formed from sawing wood
II – Have Your Say
1. When, where and how would you like to spend your next holiday?
2. After a long (if not stressful) day/week at work, what are some of the things you do to wind down?
3. A vacation gives you a chance to get away from your normal routine and experience something new and exciting. But how about a permanent change of surroundings? Have you ever considered it? If so, what kind of surrounding do you want to live in?