Health Benefits

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Date of Publication
The Restorative Benefits of Nature: Toward an Integrative Framework.
Stephen Kaplan
Journal of Environmental Psychology (vol. 15, Issue 3, pp. 169-182).
Sun, 1995-12-31
This paper explores how natural environments are rich in the characteristics important to restorative therapies.
Young Children's Relationship with Nature: Its Importance to Children's Development & the Earth's Future
Randy White
White Hutchinson Leisure and Learning Group
Sat, 2004-01-03
"With children’s access to the outdoors and the natural world becoming increasingly limited or nonexistent, child care, kindergarten and schools, where children spend 40 to 50 hours per week, may be mankind’s last opportunity to reconnect children with the natural world and create a future generation that values and preserves nature." This article defines the concept of naturalization of playgrounds and their benefits.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from the Nature-Deficit Disorder
Richard Louv
Algonquin Books
Sat, 2005-01-01
“While studies are accumulating, more research needs to be done, including establishing baselines and defining what constitutes meaningful experiences in nature. Direct measures are needed of children’s actual time in nature and the quality of their experiences in the natural world. Despite the number of studies and other findings described below, the relationship between children and nature has been understudied. Much of the research to date has been limited, although the body of research overall is generally consistent and provides insights into both the indicators of the nature deficit in children’s lives, and the benefits to children’s healthy development by direct experiences with nature in their everyday lives.”
A Countryside for Health and Well-being: The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Green Exercise
Jules Pretty, Morris Griffin, Jo Peacock, et al.
Countryside Recreation Network
Tue, 2005-02-01
the presence of nearby nature, and active participation with nature. The evidence suggests that nature “can make positive contributions to our health, help us recover from preexisting stresses or problems, have an ‘immunising’ effect by protecting us from future stresses, and help us to concentrate and think more clearly.”
Healthy nature, healthy people: ‘contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations
Cecilly Maller, et al.
Health Promotion International
Sat, 2005-12-31
This paper presents a summary of empirical, theoretical and anecdotal evidence drawn from a literature review of the human health benefits of contact with nature. Recommendations include further investigation of 'contact with nature' in population health, and examination of the benefits of nature-based interventions.
Literature Review on the Benefits of Access to Outdoor Environments for Older People
Susana Alves, Takemi Sugiama
OPEN Space Research Centre (
Sun, 2006-01-01
This review found multiple benefits associated with access to outdoor environments for older people, including benefits associated with physical activity and social interaction in these environments.
The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds
Kenneth R. Ginsburg
American Academy of Pediatrics (
Tue, 2007-01-09
" This report addresses a variety of factors that have reduced play, including a hurried lifestyle, changes in family structure, and increased attention to academics and enrichment activities at the expense of recess or free child-centered play. This report offers guidelines on how pediatricians can advocate for children by helping families, school systems and communities consider how best to ensure that play is protected as they seek the balance in children's lives to create the optimal developmental milieu."
Natural Thinking: Investigating the links between the Natural Environment, Biodiversity and Mental Health
William Bird
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Mon, 2007-12-31
This report, commissioned by the RSPB, looks at the evidence linking wildlife-rich areas and green space with mental health. Past generations have intuitively understood this relationship, perhaps better than we do, yet the evidence needed to quantify the health value of the natural environment is still evolving.
Healthy parks, healthy people: The health benefits of contact with nature in a park context. (2nd ed.)
Cecily Maller, Claire Henderson-Wilson, Anita Pryor, et al.
Deakin University and Parks Victoria
Wed, 2008-01-02
This report highlights that "there is a clear message for park managers to join public health fora, as not only do parks protect the essential systems of life and biodiversity, but they also are a fundamental setting for health promotion and the creation of well being, that to date has not been fully recognized." This report also provides recommendations to government departments, planners, park management bodies, and health policy makers to support further research; encourage and facilitate the re-positioning of parks; and develop ways of integrating parks and nature into public health.
Children’s Natural Playgrounds.
Gardens for Living
Gardens for Living
Wed, 2008-01-02
This presentation highlights the advantages of natural playgrounds and their benefits to childrens overall health.