Mind and Body

Feeling down? Scientists suggest spending time nude

Demonstrators gather outside of City Hall in San Francisco for a protest against a proposed city-wide nudity ban, Wednesday,  Nov. 14, 2012.

Demonstrators gather outside of City Hall in San Francisco for a protest against a proposed city-wide nudity ban, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.

Are people who spend time naked in the company of others happier than those who don't? Scientists are reporting in the Journal of Happiness Studies that so-called "naturists" seem to be, though why remains unclear.

"Naturists have been saying this for some time," the lead researcher from the University of London in New Cross tells the Richmond and Twickenham Times.

Still, he adds, "Little to no empirical research has investigated whether naturist activity actually makes us happier—or, just as importantly, why it makes us happier." The team first surveyed more than 800 people and concluded that people who hang out naked with others outside of their immediate family said they are happier and feel better about their bodies than people who keep their clothes on, reports Men's Health.

The scientists then talked to people before and after a nudist event, and found that the longer and more frequently people are naked, the higher they rate all these markers of happiness.

One participant suggests that seeing other "not perfect" bodies does wonders for one's own self esteem, though researchers still need to sort out exactly why people feel happier after baring all.

But if going nude isn't for you, the New York Times reports that the mere act of standing up and moving your body does wonders, too.

(Public nudity too much for you? Here are 6 reasons why you should sleep naked.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Feeling Blue? Scientists Suggest Spending Time Nude