Blog
About

74
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments

      Read this article at

      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Background

          There is increasing interest in the potential role of the natural environment in human health and well-being. However, the evidence-base for specific and direct health or well-being benefits of activity within natural compared to more synthetic environments has not been systematically assessed.

          Methods

          We conducted a systematic review to collate and synthesise the findings of studies that compare measurements of health or well-being in natural and synthetic environments. Effect sizes of the differences between environments were calculated and meta-analysis used to synthesise data from studies measuring similar outcomes.

          Results

          Twenty-five studies met the review inclusion criteria. Most of these studies were crossover or controlled trials that investigated the effects of short-term exposure to each environment during a walk or run. This included 'natural' environments, such as public parks and green university campuses, and synthetic environments, such as indoor and outdoor built environments. The most common outcome measures were scores of different self-reported emotions. Based on these data, a meta-analysis provided some evidence of a positive benefit of a walk or run in a natural environment in comparison to a synthetic environment. There was also some support for greater attention after exposure to a natural environment but not after adjusting effect sizes for pretest differences. Meta-analysis of data on blood pressure and cortisol concentrations found less evidence of a consistent difference between environments across studies.

          Conclusions

          Overall, the studies are suggestive that natural environments may have direct and positive impacts on well-being, but support the need for investment in further research on this question to understand the general significance for public health.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 28

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation?

          To investigate the strength of the relation between the amount of green space in people's living environment and their perceived general health. This relation is analysed for different age and socioeconomic groups. Furthermore, it is analysed separately for urban and more rural areas, because the strength of the relation was expected to vary with urbanity. The study includes 250 782 people registered with 104 general practices who filled in a self administered form on sociodemographic background and perceived general health. The percentage of green space (urban green space, agricultural space, natural green space) within a one kilometre and three kilometre radius around the postal code coordinates was calculated for each household. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were performed at three levels-that is, individual level, family level, and practice level-controlled for sociodemographic characteristics. The percentage of green space inside a one kilometre and a three kilometre radius had a significant relation to perceived general health. The relation was generally present at all degrees of urbanity. The overall relation is somewhat stronger for lower socioeconomic groups. Elderly, youth, and secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from presence of green areas in their living environment than other groups in large cities. This research shows that the percentage of green space in people's living environment has a positive association with the perceived general health of residents. Green space seems to be more than just a luxury and consequently the development of green space should be allocated a more central position in spatial planning policy.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Promoting ecosystem and human health in urban areas using Green Infrastructure: A literature review

              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Guidelines for systematic review in conservation and environmental management.

              An increasing number of applied disciplines are utilizing evidence-based frameworks to review and disseminate the effectiveness of management and policy interventions. The rationale is that increased accessibility of the best available evidence will provide a more efficient and less biased platform for decision making. We argue that there are significant benefits for conservation in using such a framework, but the scientific community needs to undertake and disseminate more systematic reviews before the full benefit can be realized. We devised a set of guidelines for undertaking formalized systematic review, based on a health services model. The guideline stages include planning and conducting a review, including protocol formation, search strategy, data inclusion, data extraction, and analysis. Review dissemination is addressed in terms of current developments and future plans for a Web-based open-access library. By the use of case studies we highlight critical modifications to guidelines for protocol formulation, data-quality assessment, data extraction, and data synthesis for conservation and environmental management. Ecological data presented significant but soluble challenges for the systematic review process, particularly in terms of the quantity, accessibility, and diverse quality of available data. In the field of conservation and environmental management there needs to be further engagement of scientists and practitioners to develop and take ownership of an evidence-based framework.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                1471-2458
                2010
                4 August 2010
                : 10
                : 456
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK
                Article
                1471-2458-10-456
                10.1186/1471-2458-10-456
                2924288
                20684754
                Copyright ©2010 Bowler et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Public health

                Comments

                Comment on this article