The SAGE Handbook of Nature offers an ambitious retrospective and prospective overview of the field that aims to position Nature, the environment and natural processes, at the heart of interdisciplinary social sciences. The three volumes are divided into the following parts: INTRODUCTION TO THE HANDBOOK NATURAL AND SOCIO-NATURAL VULNERABILITIES: INTERWEAVING THE NATURAL & SOCIAL SCIENCES SPACING NATURES: SUSTAINABLE PLACE MAKING AND ADAPTATION COUPLED AND (DE-COUPLED) SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS RISK AND THE ENVIRONMENT: SOCIAL THEORIES, PUBLIC UNDERSTANDINGS, & THE SCIENCE-POLICY INTERFACE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY CITIES AND THEIR REGIONS CRITICAL CONSUMERISM AND ITS MANUFACTURED NATURES GENDERED NATURES AND ECO-FEMINISM REPRODUCTIVE NATURES: PLANTS, ANIMALS AND PEOPLE NATURE, CLASS AND SOCIAL INEQUALITY BIO-SENSITIVITY & THE ECOLOGIES OF HEALTH THE RESOURCE NEXUS AND ITS RELEVANCE SUSTAINABLE URBAN COMMUNITIES RURAL NATURES AND THEIR CO-PRODUCTION This handbook is a key critical research resource for researchers and practitioners across the social sciences and their contributions to related disciplines associated with the fast developing interdisciplinary field of sustainability science.
Chapter 56: Nature Contact and Human Health
Nature Contact and Human Health
Introduction and Background
Nature contact has long been a central element of human life. Well before anyone was recording history, even before Homo sapiens had fully evolved, our ancestors lived their lives embedded in nature. This of course entailed dangers, from hungry saber-toothed tigers to fierce storms, but the natural world also provided the means of survival. Perhaps it also provided less tangible forms of sustenance, such as restoration, stress relief, and (as suggested by cave paintings) inspiration.
Recent years have seen a blossoming of interest in the benefits of nature contact for human health and well-being. The central image of Rachel Carson's 1962 classic, Silent Spring, was the threatened loss of a particular form of ...