Health Benefits

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Child Development

Interaction with nature helps children develop cognitive, emotional, and behavioral connections to their nearby social and biophysical environments. Nature experiences are important for encouraging imagination and creativity, cognitive and intellectual development, and social relationships. Symptoms of ADD in children can be reduced through activity in green settings, thus “green time” can act as an effective supplement to traditional medicinal and behavioral treatments.

Work and Learning

Experience of the natural world helps restore the mind from the mental fatigue of work or studies, thus office plants and views from windows help reduce stress, boost productivity, improve job satisfaction, and help workers stay more attentive.

Views of plants from a work space have been shown to decrease illness incidence, and the amount of self-reported sick leave. 1

Urban nature, when provided as parks and walkways and incorporated into building design, provides calming, inspiring environments, and encourages learning, inquisitiveness, and alertness.

Health and Wellness

More than 50 studies show naturalistic settings reduce pain, stress on family and patients, decreased dependency on medication, and recovery time, thereby lowering health care costs. Some benefits include:

  • Patients in hospitals that have exposure to natural conditions heal quicker - decreasing their hospital time by 8.5%. 2
  • Post-occupancy studies indicate that patients and family who use hospital gardens report positive mood change and reduced stress.3
  • Patients exposed to natural elements took 22% less pain medication per hour and accumulated 21% less in pain medication costs for the length of their stay.4
Sources
  1. Miller, Norm G., Dave Pogue, Quiana D. Gough, and Susan M. Davis. “Green Buildings and Productivity”. JOSRE. Vol. 1. No. 1. 2009
  2. Ulrich, R. S. “View through a window may influence recovery from surgery”Science, Vol. 224. 1984
  3. Moss, M. J. Cook, K. Wesnes, and P. Duckett. “Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in health adults.” Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria. International Journal of Neuroscience. Jan; 113(1): 15-38. 2003
  4. Walch, Jeffrey M., Bruce S. Rabin, Richard Day, Jessica N. Williams, Krissy Choi, and James D. Kang. “The Effect of Sunlight on Postoperative Analgesic Medication Use.”

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