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Nature–Based Interventions for Improving Health and Wellbeing: The Purpose, the People and the Outcomes

Shanahan, Danielle F and Astell–Burt, Thomas and Barber, Elizabeth A and Brymer, Eric and Cox, Daniel TC and Dean, Julie and Depledge, Michael and Fuller, Richard A and Hartig, Terry and Irvine, Katherine N and Jones, Andy and Kikillus, Heidy and Lovell, Rebecca and Mitchell, Richard and Niemelä, Jari and Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark and Pretty, Jules and Townsend, Mardie and van Heezik, Yolanda and Warber, Sara and Gaston, Kevin J (2019) 'Nature–Based Interventions for Improving Health and Wellbeing: The Purpose, the People and the Outcomes.' Sports, 7 (6). 141 - 141. ISSN 2075-4663

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Abstract

Engagement with nature is an important part of many people’s lives, and the health and wellbeing benefits of nature–based activities are becoming increasingly recognised across disciplines from city planning to medicine. Despite this, urbanisation, challenges of modern life and environmental degradation are leading to a reduction in both the quantity and the quality of nature experiences. Nature–based health interventions (NBIs) can facilitate behavioural change through a somewhat structured promotion of nature–based experiences and, in doing so, promote improved physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. We conducted a Delphi expert elicitation process with 19 experts from seven countries (all named authors on this paper) to identify the different forms that such interventions take, the potential health outcomes and the target beneficiaries. In total, 27 NBIs were identified, aiming to prevent illness, promote wellbeing and treat specific physical, mental or social health and wellbeing conditions. These interventions were broadly categorized into those that change the environment in which people live, work, learn, recreate or heal (for example, the provision of gardens in hospitals or parks in cities) and those that change behaviour (for example, engaging people through organized programmes or other activities). We also noted the range of factors (such as socioeconomic variation) that will inevitably influence the extent to which these interventions succeed. We conclude with a call for research to identify the drivers influencing the effectiveness of NBIs in enhancing health and wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nature–based health interventions; green prescriptions; wilderness therapy; forest schools; green exercise
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2019 08:34
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2019 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24849

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