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The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 13:48 authored by David G. Pearson, Tony Craig
There is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits. Proximity to greenspace has been associated with lower levels of stress (Thompson et al., 2012) and reduced symptomology for depression and anxiety (Beyer et al., 2014), while interacting with nature can improve cognition for children with attention deficits (Taylor and Kuo, 2009) and individuals with depression (Berman et al., 2012). A recent epidemiological study has shown that people who move to greener urban areas benefit from sustained improvements in their mental health (Alcock et al., 2014). In this paper we critically review evidence indicating that such mental health benefits are associated with the so-called “restorative” properties of natural environments. In particular we focus on the claim that interaction with (or just passive perception of) natural scene content can be linked to the restoration of limited-capacity attentional resources, in comparison to similar exposure to urban or built scene content.

History

Refereed

  • Yes

Volume

5

Page range

1178

Publication title

Frontiers in Psychology

ISSN

1664-1078

Publisher

Frontiers Media

File version

  • Published version

Language

  • eng

Legacy posted date

2016-06-13

Legacy creation date

2019-08-19

Legacy Faculty/School/Department

ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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