Nature brings happiness and health
That is the outcome of a first study of the University of Antwerpen (Belgium) with approximately 13,000 Flemish participants on the influence of nature on people’s well-being.
The study was organised by the University of Antwerpen and INBO in cooperation with Eurosite member Natuurpunt and CM and shows that 80% of respondents feel more fit, more positive, more relaxed, and are generally happier after having spent some time in a nature area. The average respondent does so on a monthly basis. 41% does so to stretch their legs and make a walk, whereas the goal of 22% is to find some peace of mind. Other reasons to go into nature were fresh air, to enjoy nature’s beauty, and gardening. Main reasons to not visit nature areas (more often) were the lack of time, bad weather circumstances, or a lack of nature areas in a close proximity. An additional note to the study is that most respondents have come in touch with the survey through Natuurpunt, which might have somewhat coloured the results. Antwerpen University and INBO will further compose an in-depth study.
Since 2015, Natuurpunt has been placing emphasis of the relation between nature and health. They do so through annual inspiration days and projects. In the meantime governments and research institutions have joined Natuurpunt through researching this relationship. Lastly, 165 natuurpunt branches have a cooperation with the health care sector, which has resulted in a very structured collaboration.
Please find further information on the study here (in Dutch).
Photo credit: ©Natuurpunt