Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing
PHE ePoster Library. Fleming L. 09/12/19; 274354; 160
Prof. Lora Fleming
Prof. Lora Fleming
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Abstract Introduction
Evidence is accruing indicating that time spent visiting natural environments (including green/blue space in urban and rural settings) can be beneficial for health and wellbeing. However, there is limited evidence on exposure-response gradients, and none on minimum thresholds.MethodWe used data from two years of Natural England's Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment repeat cross-sectional survey (2014/15 and 2015/16; n=19806). Weekly duration of nature contact was calculated based on participants' time spent on visits during the previous 7 days, and aggregated to 60 minute blocks (partly since many people round visit duration to the nearest hour). Logistic regression models were used to estimate associations between nature contact duration and a) general self-rated health (good vs poor) and b) subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction, high vs. low). Models were adjusted for a range of individual-level covariates (including self-reported physical activity, long-term illness/disability and socio-demographics), neighbourhood greenspace, and area deprivation.
With no nature contact as the reference, the odds of reporting good health increased significantly with nature contact duration ≥120 minutes (OR 120-179 mins vs 0 mins = 1.59, 95% CI 1.31-1.92). Subjective wellbeing was also higher for exposure duration above 120 minutes (OR 120-179 mins vs 0 mins = 1.23, 95% CI 1.08-1.40).
We identify for the first time a possible need for 120 minutes per week minimum nature contact duration for health and wellbeing benefit. Guideline development comparable to that for physical activity may be possible in the future, but requires robust and confirmatory evidence. External funding details This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Environmental Change and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), and in collaboration with the University of Exeter, University College London, and the Met Office. The funders had no role in the study design, analysis, interpretation of data, or decision to submit the article for publication. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health, or Public Health England.
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