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Nature and public health

aspects of promotion, prevention, and intervention

Annerstedt, Matilda (2011). Nature and public health. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Alnarp : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2011:98
ISBN 978-91-576-7642-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.



Nature’s potentially positive effect on wellbeing may serve as an important resource for population health. Based on theories mainly derived from environmental psychology
this resource has been explored in varied scientific studies the last century. This has rendered a substantial amount of empirical evidence for different beneficial effects of natural environments on health.
The aim of this thesis was to consider these effects from a public health perspective.
The state of the art for nature as intervention was xplored by a systematic review designed in accordance with the Cochrane principles. Different landscape types’ effect
on stress and mental health were studied by one cross-sectional survey study and one longitudinal epidemiological study. Finally physiological stress recovery reactions by a
standardized nature setting were examined in an xperimental randomized betweengroup study in a virtual reality laboratory. The different methodological aspects contributed to a broad entrance to the subject.
In combination with the broad subject as such this spawned reflections upon the scientific approach and the thesis aims to some extent to mirror these reflections from
an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary viewpoint.
A very short and simplified conclusion of the thesis would be that a small evidence base of the efficiency of nature assisted therapy is in line with the findings of certain
nature qualities as resources for recovery from stress and reducing the risk for mental health problems, and that this may partly be mediated by an active relaxation
mechanism within the parasympathetic nerve system.
The findings may have implications for the contemporary disease scenario and the expected rise in non-communicable diseases and mental disorders. Policies and actions
for public health should consider populations’ living environments and promote access to nature.

Authors/Creators:Annerstedt, Matilda
Title:Nature and public health
Subtitle:aspects of promotion, prevention, and intervention
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2011
Number of Pages:86
IAnnerstedt M, Währborg P. (2011) Nature Assisted Therapy – Systematic review of controlled and observational studies. Scand J of Publ Health, 39:371-88 (Annerstedt & Währborg, 2011)
IIAnnerstedt M, Norman J, Boman M, Andersson L, Grahn P, Währborg P. (2010). Finding stress relief in a forest. Ecological Bulletins 53;33-42 (Annerstedt, 2010b)
IIIAnnerstedt M, Östergren P-O, Björk J, P Grahn, Skärbäck E, Währborg P. (2011). Recreational characters and mental health – results from a longitudinal cohort study in southern Sweden. Submitted for publication
IVAnnerstedt M, Jönsson P, Wallergård M, Johansson G, Währborg P. (2011). Virtual nature environment with nature sound exposure – inducement of stress recovery by enhanced parasympathetic activity. Submitted for publication
Place of Publication:Alnarp
Publisher:SLU Repro, Alnarp
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU/LTJ - Partnership Alnarp
SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Built Environment
SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Forest
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7642-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:X Agricola extesions > X38 Human medicine, health, and safety
Subjects:Obsolete subject words > MEDICINE > Social medicine > Public health medicine research areas
Obsolete subject words > INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS > Health and medical services in society
(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
Agrovoc terms:public health, natural environment, psychological factors, stress, mental health, epidemiology, broadleaved forests, interdiciplinary research
Keywords:stress , mental health, population, salutogenic, green care, transdisciplinarity, broadleaved forest, GIS, landscape characters, epidemiology, virtual reality, soundscape
Permanent URL:
ID Code:8424
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Work Science, Business Economics, and Environmental Psychology (until 2020)
Deposited By: Dr M Annerstedt
Deposited On:11 Nov 2011 09:22
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:47

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