Using environmental interventions to create sustainable solutions to problems to health and wellbeing
Townsend, Mardie, Maller, Cecily, St Leger, Lawrence and Brown, Peter 2003, Using environmental interventions to create sustainable solutions to problems to health and wellbeing, Environmental health, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 58-69.
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Recent research by Deakin University, in collaboration with Parks Victoria and its Strategic Partners, indicates that contact with nature may promote human health and wellbeing. International research indicates that simply viewing a natural scene or watching wildlife reduces stress and tension, improves concentration, remedies mental fatigue, boosts immunity, and enhances psychological health. This is aside from any physical health benefits flowing from reduced stress, increased exercise and improved air quality when contact with nature involves activities in natural environments. The literature suggests that interacting with nature through gardening or having a companion animal is also beneficial for health, and where these activities involve contact with other humans, might extend benefits beyond the individual to the community, through enhanced social capital. This paper sets out the potential scope of work flowing from the initial research, in terms of target groups, research foci, intervention strategies, and likely benefits, and reports on progress in establishing a program of Australian,based empirical research. It proposes the establishment of alliances between researchers and practitioners in a range of disciplines (including environmental health) to ensure that the links between contact with nature and human health and wellbeing are explored and expressed in ways that are both beneficial and sustainable.
Field of Research
120599 Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
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