Health and well-being naturally: 'contact with nature' in health promotion for targeted individuals, communities and populations

Pryor, Anita, Townsend, Mardie, Maller, Cecily and Field, Karen 2006, Health and well-being naturally: 'contact with nature' in health promotion for targeted individuals, communities and populations, Health promotion journal of Australia, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 114-123.

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Title Health and well-being naturally: 'contact with nature' in health promotion for targeted individuals, communities and populations
Author(s) Pryor, Anita
Townsend, Mardie
Maller, Cecily
Field, Karen
Journal name Health promotion journal of Australia
Volume number 17
Issue number 2
Start page 114
End page 123
Publisher Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals
Place of publication West Perth, W.A.
Publication date 2006-08
ISSN 1036-1073
1753-6405
Keyword(s) Nature
wilderness therapy
adventure therapy
mental health promotion
socia-ecological health
Summary Issue addressed: The increase in mental health disorders worldwide makes it important to recognise health promotion interventions that are effective, accessible and affordable. Although natural spaces are coming to be recognised as health-promoting settings for general populations, little is understood about the use of nature contact in treatment and care for individuals experiencing ill-health.

Methods: This paper provides a summary of key research findings and presents a case study examining the self reported health and well-being benefits of nature contact for a small clinical sample. The 'Spectrum of Interventions for Mental Health Problems and Mental Disorders' provides a conceptual framework for ordering current and future information relating to nature-based interventions.

Results: Evidence demonstrates that separately, physical activity, social connection, and contact with nature enhance human health and well-being. The case example illustrates how 'active', 'social' and 'adventurous' contact with nature may be combined within a treatment intervention to protect and enhance the health of individuals experiencing chronic mental, emotional and physical health difficulties.

Conclusions:
'Contact with nature' constitutes a health promotion strategy with potential application in prevention, early intervention, treatment and care. Recommendations include further research to investigate the benefits of nature contact within existing interventions, and the impacts of 'active' and 'social' nature contact within tailored interventions for targeted individuals and communities.
Language eng
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003591

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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