The research over the past 40 years strongly suggests that the poor health of individuals and the planet is based partly on biophobia, also described as a disconnection from nature.1, 2 According to the Environmental Protection Agency,3 the average U.S. citizen spends 87% of their life indoors and another 6% in automobiles. This means that Americans spend 93% of their lives in enclosed interior spaces. Only 7% of our lives, or just one-half of one day each week, is now spent outdoors. This is particularly noteworthy for children, whose overall time outside has decreased significantly in the recent past.4 Research has noted a significant relationship between sedentary behaviors and childhood obesity.5 There is a growing amount of research discussing the multiple benefits of time spent in nature. This has prompted a call for increased clinical and public health studies to understand these relationships more fully.6, 7, 8
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- Louv, R. (2005). Last Child in the Woods. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Press.
- O’Brien, L., Ambrose-Oji, B., Waite, S., Aronsson, J., & Clark, M. (2016). Learning on the move: Green exercise for children and young people. In Green exercise: linking nature, health and well-being. Barton, J., Bragg, R., Wood, C., & Pretty, J. (Eds.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
- Barton, J., Wood, C., Pretty, J., & Rogerson, M. (2016). Green exercise for health: A dose of nature. In Green exercise: Linking nature, health and well-being; Barton, J., Bragg, R., Wood, C., Pretty, J., (Eds.). New Delhi, India: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
- Pretty, J., Barton, J., Pervez Bharucha, Z., Bragg, R., Pencheon, D., Wood, C., & Depledge, M.H. (2016). Improving health and well-being independently of GDP: Dividends of greener and prosocial economies. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 26,11–36.
- Pretty, J., Peacock, J., Hine, R., Sellens, M., South, N., & Griffin, M. (2007). Green exercise in the UK countryside: Effects on health and psychological well-being, and implications for policy and planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 50, 211–231.
- Thompson, C.W., Roe, J., Aspinall, P., Mitchell, R., Clow, A., & Miller, D. (2012). More green space is linked to less stress in deprived communities: Evidence from salivary cortisol patterns. Landscape Urban Plan, (105), 221–229.
- Horiuchi, M., Endo, J., Akatsuka, S., Uno, T., Hasegawa, T., & Seko, Y. (2013). Influence of forest walking on blood pressure, profile of mood states, and stress markers from the viewpoint of aging. Journal of Aging Gerontology, (1),9–17.
- Willcox, B.J., Willcox, D.C., & Ferrucci, L. (2008). Secrets of healthy aging and longevity from exceptional survivors around the globe: Lessons from octogenarians to supercentenarians. Journal of Gerontology - Series A, (63), 1181–1185.
- Brymer, E., Cuddihy, T.F., & Sharma-Brymer, V. (2010). The role of nature-based experiences in the development and maintenance of wellness. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health Sport Physical Education (1), 21–27.
- Berman, M.G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature.Psychological Science, (19),1207–1212.
- Kaplan, R., & Kaplan, S. (1989). The experience of nature: A psychological perspective. New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
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- Bratman, G.N., Hamilton, J., & Daily, G. (2012). The impacts of nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health. Annals of New York Academy of Science, (1249), 118-136.
- De Vries, S., ten Have, M., van Dorsselaer, S., van Wezep, M., Hermans, T., & de Graaf, R. (2016). Local availability of green and blue space and prevalence of common mental disorders in the Netherlands. British Journal of Psychiatry Open, 2(6) 366-372.
- Mitchell, R.J., Richardson, E.A., Shortt, N.K., & Pearce, J.R. (2015). Neighborhood environments and socioeconomic inequalities in mental well-being. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 49, 80–84.