Health and the natural environment: A review of evidence, policy, practice and opportunities for the future

As a society we are facing epidemic levels of non-communicable disease, including heart and other circulatory diseases, diabetes type 2, and mental health disorders. Evidence is growing as to the potential of the natural environment to contribute to helping reduce the burden to health and social care systems. We now know that living in greener environments is associated with a range of more positive health outcomes and that the use of the natural environments as a setting for health promotion can be effective. Although the links between the natural environment and health outcomes are recognised, to some degree, in existing policy and practice at a range of scales there is a need to find ways in which decision makers can meaningfully act on the evidence of benefit.

This study focused on the interconnections between natural environments and health, and the ways in which these are, or could be harnessed in policy, service delivery and practice.


Dr Rebecca Lovell; Professor Michael Depledge and Dr Simon Maxwell
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Defra Project Code BE0109
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Practical Solutions Categories