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Healthy people with nature in mind

van den Bosch, Matilda and Depledge, Michael H. (2015). Healthy people with nature in mind. BMC public health. 15 :1 , 1-7
[Research article]

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BACKGROUND: The global disease burden resulting from climate change is likely to be substantial and will put further strain on public health systems that are already struggling to cope with demand. An up- stream solution, that of preventing climate change and associated adverse health effects, is a promising approach, which would create win-win-situations where both the environment and human health benefit. One such solution would be to apply methods of behaviour change to prompt pro-environmentalism, which in turn benefits health and wellbeing.
DISCUSSION: Based on evidence from the behavioural sciences, we suggest that, like many social behaviours, pro- environmental behaviour can be automatically induced by internal or external stimuli. A potential trigger for such automatic pro-environmental behaviour would be natural environments themselves. Previous research has demonstrated that natural environments evoke specific psychological and physiological reactions, as demonstrated by self-reports, epidemiological studies, brain imaging techniques, and various biomarkers. This suggests that exposure to natural environments could have automatic behavioural effects, potentially in a pro-environmental direction, mediated by physiological reactions. Providing access and fostering exposure to natural environments could then serve as a public health tool, together with other measures, by mitigating climate change and achieving sustainable health in sustainable ecosystems. However, before such actions are implemented basic research is required to elucidate the mechanisms involved, and applied investigations are needed to explore real world impacts and effect magnitudes. As environmental research is still not sufficiently integrated within medical or public health studies there is an urgent need to promote interdisciplinary methods and investigations in this critical field. Health risks posed by anthropogenic climate change are large, unevenly distributed, and unpredictable. To ameliorate negative impacts, pro-environmental behaviours should be fostered. Potentially this could be achieved automatically through exposure to favourable natural environments, with an opportunity for cost-efficient nature-based solutions that provide benefits for both the environment and public health.

Authors/Creators:van den Bosch, Matilda and Depledge, Michael H.
Title:Healthy people with nature in mind
Series Name/Journal:BMC public health
Year of publishing :2015
Page range:1-7
Number of Pages:7
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 3 Medical and Health Sciences > 303 Health Sciences > Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 3 Medical and Health Sciences > 303 Health Sciences > Environmental Health and Occupational Health
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 501 Psychology > Applied Psychology
Agrovoc terms:climate change
Keywords:Pro-environmentalism, Automatic mind, Neuro-psychology, Anthropogenic, Behaviour change, Nature-based solutions, Ecosystem degradation, Nudging, Climate change
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000366551200001
Alternative URL:http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/15/1232
ID Code:13357
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Work Science, Business Economics, and Environmental Psychology (until 2020)
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:26 May 2016 12:25
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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