A research summary for communicating the health benefits of urban trees and green space
This report summarizes some of the most prominent research related to nature and public health to help urban natural resource professionals, urban planners, architects, educators, health professionals, and community groups effectively communicate the health benefits of urban nature to their constituents.
People are dependent on nature for food, water, security, health, and well-being—we are connected with the natural world for our very survival. Green spaces also make us happier and healthier. The evidence of the link between nature, health, and preventive medicine will hopefully spur more direct collaboration between the health, urban planning, education, and natural resource communities. With the growing pressures of modern life, these are critical connections to pursue; the answers to some of the biggest challenges facing these groups lie in the recognition of shared interests, goals, and objectives. This area of research will continue to grow in the coming years and decades, illuminating the essential role that nature plays in the health and well-being of our minds, bodies, and spirit.
Published January 30, 2018
Promoting physical activity among children and adults is a priority national health objective in the United States. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of chronic diseases and is an important strategy for reversing the obesity epidemic.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the creation of nature-rich urban environments, including schoolyards with natural play spaces and gardens, can help improve physical and mental health, cognitive skills, creativity, and social bonding.
The phenomena of thru-hiking has been on a dramatic rise, spurring hikers to venture onto increasingly remote and challenging trails over extended periods of time. Despite the recent popularity of thru-hiking, the field remains relatively unstudied. In recreation, the expectations held beforehand have been linked to perceptions after an activity, but this has not been explored in thru-hiking.
This study evaluated pack weight to understand the limits of long-term load carriage. Participants were Appalachian Trail hikers who attempted to complete the entire trail in the 2012 season.