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Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Jul 31;125(7):075001. doi: 10.1289/EHP1663.

Nature Contact and Human Health: A Research Agenda.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington, USA.
2
Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University , Stanford, California, USA.
3
Center for Creative Conservation, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington, USA.
4
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington, USA.
5
Willamette Partnership , Portland, Oregon, USA.
6
Department of Psychology, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington, USA.
7
The Nature Conservancy , Seattle, Washington, USA.
8
Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine , Seattle, Washington, USA.
9
Seattle Children's Hospital , Seattle, Washington, USA.
10
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington, USA.
11
Department of Chemistry, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington, USA.
12
Pacific Northwest Research Station , USDA Forest Service , Seattle, Washington, USA.
13
The Natural Capital Project , Stanford University , Stanford, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

At a time of increasing disconnectedness from nature, scientific interest in the potential health benefits of nature contact has grown. Research in recent decades has yielded substantial evidence, but large gaps remain in our understanding.

OBJECTIVES:

We propose a research agenda on nature contact and health, identifying principal domains of research and key questions that, if answered, would provide the basis for evidence-based public health interventions.

DISCUSSION:

We identify research questions in seven domains: a) mechanistic biomedical studies; b) exposure science; c) epidemiology of health benefits; d) diversity and equity considerations; e) technological nature; f) economic and policy studies; and g) implementation science.

CONCLUSIONS:

Nature contact may offer a range of human health benefits. Although much evidence is already available, much remains unknown. A robust research effort, guided by a focus on key unanswered questions, has the potential to yield high-impact, consequential public health insights. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1663.

PMID:
28796634
PMCID:
PMC5744722
DOI:
10.1289/EHP1663
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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