Open access research from frontiers in Psychology:
How might contact with nature promote human health? Promising mechanisms and a possible central pathway
“How might contact with nature promote human health? Myriad studies have linked the two; at this time the task of identifying the mechanisms underlying this link is paramount. This article offers: (1) a compilation of plausible pathways between nature and health; (2) criteria for identifying a possible central pathway; and (3) one promising candidate for a central pathway.
…enhanced immune functioning emerges as one promising candidate for a central pathway between nature and health. There may be others.”
A nice, easily read, review of the many beneficial effects of contact with nature. The review identified 21 possible pathways, proposed in the literature, by which contact with nature may have beneficial effects – benefits such as reduction in stress and anxiety disorders, reduced cardiovascular disease, reduced musculoskeletal complaints, and improved healing. The review then proposes that these multiple proposed pathways may all contribute to a single ‘central pathway’ – that of improved immune function, which then mediates the positive health effects.
Immune boosting behaviours
Another good reason to get outside and feel good in the sunshine, contact with nature probably also belongs on this list