Doses of nearby nature simultaneously associated with multiple health benefits

Cox, Daniel T. C., Shanahan, Danielle F., Hudson, Hannah L., Fuller, Richard A., Anderson, Karen, Hancock, Steven and Gaston, Kevin J. (2017) Doses of nearby nature simultaneously associated with multiple health benefits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14 2: . doi:10.3390/ijerph14020172

Author Cox, Daniel T. C.
Shanahan, Danielle F.
Hudson, Hannah L.
Fuller, Richard A.
Anderson, Karen
Hancock, Steven
Gaston, Kevin J.
Title Doses of nearby nature simultaneously associated with multiple health benefits
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1660-4601
Publication date 2017-02-09
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/ijerph14020172
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 2
Total pages 13
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Language eng
Abstract Exposure to nature provides a wide range of health benefits. A significant proportion of these are delivered close to home, because this offers an immediate and easily accessible opportunity for people to experience nature. However, there is limited information to guide recommendations on its management and appropriate use. We apply a nature dose-response framework to quantify the simultaneous association between exposure to nearby nature and multiple health benefits. We surveyed ca. 1000 respondents in Southern England, UK, to determine relationships between (a) nature dose type, that is the frequency and duration (time spent in private green space) and intensity (quantity of neighbourhood vegetation cover) of nature exposure and (b) health outcomes, including mental, physical and social health, physical behaviour and nature orientation. We then modelled dose-response relationships between dose type and self-reported depression. We demonstrate positive relationships between nature dose and mental and social health, increased physical activity and nature orientation. Dose-response analysis showed that lower levels of depression were associated with minimum thresholds of weekly nature dose. Nearby nature is associated with quantifiable health benefits, with potential for lowering the human and financial costs of ill health. Dose-response analysis has the potential to guide minimum and optimum recommendations on the management and use of nearby nature for preventative healthcare.
Keyword Depression
Exposure to nature
Extinction of experience
Nature dose
Nature relatedness
Physical behaviour
Risk factors
Social cohesion
Self-assessment of health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID NE/J015237/1
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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