Nature for selfcare3
Attaching too much importance to the length of time people spend in nature to improve their wellbeing may not be wise, new research reveals.

A study involving more than 2,000 UK adults published in the International Journal of Wellbeing indicates activities and engagement which help form ‘a close-connected relationship’ to nature appear to play a more substantial role.

Researchers focussed on how wellbeing was related to five nature-related factors:

  • nature connectedness
  • time in nature
  • engagement with nature through simple everyday activities
  • indirect engagement with nature
  • knowledge and study of nature

Study authors said: ‘By not being tuned into the nature around us, our lives are poorer for it in terms of happiness and meaning.

‘Tuning in to nature is not about time, not about minutes. It is about moments. Feeling connected to nature and engaging in certain simple activities in nature seem to be more predictive of mental wellbeing than time spent in nature.’

Report authors

They go on to say their work shows the importance of providing gardens for rest and relaxation and that urban planners should plant trees and flowers along streets to bring nature to all residents.

Researchers say their study has important implications for mental health practitioners as focusing solely on ‘dosage’ of time in nature can drive policy at the expense of a more ‘rounded approach’.

Read more here.

Reading conference puts Green Care in spotlight

Voices from the worlds of healthcare, policy-making and academia will be discussing the role of gardening interventions later this month.

Find out more