How might contact with nature promote human health? Promising mechanisms and posible central pathway
Contact with nature has been tied to health in a plenitude of studies. Time spent in and around tree-lined streets, gardens, parks, and forested and agricultural lands is consistently linked to objective, long-term health outcomes. The less green a person’s surroundings, the higher their risk of morbidity and mortality – even when controlling for socioeconomic status and other possible confounding variables. The range of speciﬁc health outcomes tied to nature is startling, including depression and anxiety disorder, diabetes mellitus, attention deﬁcit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), various infectious diseases, cancer, healing from surgery, obesity,birthoutcomes,cardiovasculardisease,musculoskeletalcomplaints,migraines,respiratory disease,andothers,reviewedbelow.Finally,neighborhood greennesshasbeenconsistently tiedto lifeexpectancyandall-causemortality(seeTable3intheSupplementaryMaterials).