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Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness

Pretty, Jules and Barton, Joanna (2020) 'Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness.' International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (21). ISSN 1660-4601

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Abstract

A number of countries have begun to adopt prevention pays policies and practices to reduce pressure on health and social care systems. Most affluent countries have seen substantial increases in the incidence and costs of non-communicable diseases. The interest in social models for health has led to the growth in use of social prescribing and psychological therapies. At the same time, there has been growth in application of a variety of nature-based and mind–body interventions (NBIs and MBIs) aimed at improving health and longevity. We assess four NBI/MBI programmes (woodland therapy, therapeutic horticulture, ecotherapy/green care, and tai chi) on life satisfaction/happiness and costs of use of public services. These interventions produce rises in life satisfaction/happiness of 1.00 pts to 7.29 (n = 644; p < 0.001) (for courses or participation >50 h). These increases are greater than many positive life events (e.g., marriage or a new child); few countries or cities see +1 pt increases over a decade. The net present economic benefits per person from reduced public service use are £830–£31,520 (after 1 year) and £6450–£11,980 (after 10 years). We conclude that NBIs and MBIs can play a role in helping to reduce the costs on health systems, while increasing the well-being of participants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nature-based interventions, mind-body interventions, life satisfaction, happiness, green social prescribing
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2020 11:34
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2020 12:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28977

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