Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Biophilia and Health

Here's another word for your vocabulary: Biophilia. It is the hypothesis that humans have an inherent inclination to affiliate with nature and implies affection for plants and other living things in nature. Does spending time in nature impact health and well-being? An article published in the Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health suggests that the answer is yes. Here is a summary paragraph:  "Taking all the reviewed evidence into account, the idea that interacting with Nature can offer positive effects on health and well-being seems to be reasonably well substantiated. Thus, the Biophilia hypothesis has merit. The evidence includes studies on outdoor activities, therapeutic use of Nature, having a view of Nature (either actual Nature or in pictures), and adding plants to indoor environments. Moreover, the notion that part of the effect is mediated through visual contact with plants also appears to be substantiated. The above statement is based on empirical data, but supported by theoretical expectations, which suggest that the absence of Nature is a potential discord. The latter point has been raised recently by Richard Louv ... who uses the term nature-deficit, and suggests that the increase in prevalence of conditions such as obesity, attention disorders, and depression is partly due to a decrease in the degree children are exposed to Nature." If you’re interested in reading the article, I’ve included the link below.

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