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

Pryor, A, Townsend, M, Maller, C and Field, K 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.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Health and well-being naturally: 'Contact with nature' in health promotion for targeted individuals, communities and populations
Author(s) Pryor, A
Townsend, M
Maller, C
Field, K
Year 2006
Journal name Health Promotion Journal of Australia
Volume number 17
Issue number 2
Start page 114
End page 123
Total pages 10
Publisher Australian Health Promotion Association
Abstract 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.
ISSN 1036-1073
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