• The article looks at the relationship between nature and human health.
• It examines evidence from various studies which suggest that spending time outdoors is beneficial to people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
• It also discusses how nature can be used to improve the lives of people with disabilities, as well as its potential role in helping to combat climate change.
Nature and Human Health
It has long been known that there is a positive connection between nature and human health. In recent years, a growing body of scientific research has demonstrated that spending time in natural environments can have positive impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Benefits for Mental Health
Studies have shown that spending time in green spaces can reduce stress levels, improve mood, increase self-esteem, boost creativity and even help us sleep better. Exposure to nature has also been linked to improved concentration and memory recall, as well as reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Benefits for Physical Health
Research suggests that exposure to nature can have a range of positive effects on our physical health too. These include lower blood pressure, faster recovery times from illness or surgery, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved immunity against infection. Spending time outdoors can also be beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain or fatigue-related conditions such as fibromyalgia or ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome).
Nature and Disability
Nature has the potential to offer numerous benefits for people with disabilities too. For example, contact with animals such as horses or dogs may provide therapeutic relief from physical or emotional difficulties; being surrounded by plants may help those with sensory impairments; while outdoor activities such as wheelchair basketball or walking trails may enable those who are mobility impaired to enjoy leisure pursuits they otherwise couldn’t take part in.
Nature & Climate Change
Taking care of the environment is essential if we are going to successfully tackle the challenge of climate change – but it could also be beneficial for our own health too! Studies show that access to green spaces encourages healthier lifestyle choices such as exercise and eating fresh produce, while reducing air pollution levels helps protect public health by reducing respiratory problems like asthma attacks caused by smoggy city air.