A new paper published by John Wiley & Sons in Spirituality and Health International discusses the link between contact with nature and mental and physical health.
Author: Professor Jules Pretty, Centre for Environment and Society and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester C04 3Sq, UK.
Abstract: Irrespective of where we come from in the world, it seems that the presence of living things makes us feel good. There are three levels of engagement with nature. The first is viewing nature, as through a window, or in a book, on television or in a painting. The second is being in the presence of usually nearby nature, which is incidental to some other activity, such as walking or cycling to work, or reading on a garden seat or talking to friends in a park. The third is active participation and involvement with nature, such as gardening or farming, trekking or running. There is now strong evidence that all these levels deliver mental health benefits. The evidence also suggests that green spaces and nearby nature should be seen as a fundamental health resource. Physical activity is now known to be a co-determinant of health. Yet there has been a dramatic fall in physical activity in recent decades, with severe health consequences. Exercising in the presence of nature (green exercise) thus has important public and environmental health consequences. Copyright © 2004 Whurr Publishers Ltd.
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