Health benefits from nature experiences depend on dose
Nature Publishing Group: Open Access Journals - Option C
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Nature Publishing Group via the DOI in this record.
Nature within cities will have a central role in helping address key global public health 3 challenges associated with urbanization. However, there is almost no guidance on how much 4 or how frequently people need to engage with nature, and what types or characteristics of 5 nature need to be incorporated in cities for the best health outcomes. Here we use a nature 6 dose framework to examine the associations between the duration, frequency and intensity of 7 exposure to nature and health in an urban population. We show that people who made long 8 visits to green spaces had lower rates of depression and high blood pressure, and those who 9 visited more frequently had greater social cohesion. Higher levels of physical activity were 10 linked to both duration and frequency of green space visits. A dose-response analysis for 11 depression and high blood pressure suggest that visits to outdoor green spaces of 30 minutes 12 or more during the course of a week could reduce the population prevalence of these illnesses 13 by up to 7% and 9% respectively. Given that the societal costs of depression alone in 14 Australia are estimated at AUD$12.6 billion per annum, savings to public health budgets 15 across all health outcomes could be immense.
D.F.S. is supported through ARC Discovery Grant DP120102857 and the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED, Australia); R.A.F. holds an ARC Future Fellowship; B.B.L. is supported through the CSIRO Land and Water Flagship; and K.J.G. is supported by NERC grant NE/J015237/1. J. Rhodes, K. Johansen and S. Wu contributed to the development of the vegetation data. Authors would like to thank the Brisbane City Council for providing GIS data layers, the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, QLD for providing access to the airborne LiDAR.
Vol. 6, Art. No. 28551 (2016)