Access to nature reduces depression and obesity, finds European study

GR: Researchers have shown that people are healthier and happier when they have regular contact with nature (plants and animals). Controlled experiments show that even a photograph of natural vegetation reduces our blood pressure. Roger Ulrich, a colleague from long ago, described his research finding that views of vegetation reduced the need for pain medication and speeded recovery of surgery patients. This suggests that life in intensive urban settings, or life in a completely artificial habitat such as a space ship, would reduce overall health and lifespan. This link takes you to a discussion of the inclusion of nature in architectural design.

Here’s an article on people and plants:

Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire. The study cites research that 26% of England’s black and minority ethnic populations visit natural environments less than three times a year. Photograph: Rebecca Cole/Alamy

“People living close to trees and green spaces are less likely to be obese, inactive, or dependent on anti-depressants, according to a new report.

“Middle-aged Scottish men with homes in deprived but verdant areas were found to have a death rate 16% lower than their more urban counterparts. Pregnant women also received a health boost from a greener environment, recording lower blood pressures and giving birth to larger babies, research in Bradford found.

“Overall, nature is an under-recognised healer, the paper says, offering multiple health benefits from allergy reductions to increases in self-esteem and mental wellbeing.

“A study team of 11 researchers at the Institute for European environmental policy (IEEP) spent a year reviewing more than 200 academic studies for the report, which is the most wide-ranging probe yet into the dynamics of health, nature and wellbeing.” –Arthur Neslen (Continue reading: Access to nature reduces depression and obesity, finds European study | Society | The Guardian.)

3 thoughts on “Access to nature reduces depression and obesity, finds European study

  1. After Robert MacArthur’s death, Wilson used the term in an essay about the love of nature. A subsequent anthology titled “The Biophilia Hypothesis” in 1993, reviewed human responses to nature, and concluded that there is a genetic link–a predisposition to respond to nature. However, the link remains weak until activated by close association with plants and animals. Usually, the link has minimal influence on our behavior.


  2. Pingback: Nature and health… | Old School Garden


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