Nature-based health and therapy

There is an exponentially growing interest in the area of nature-based health and therapy for a variety of excellent reasons, from its potential to increase physical activity, reduce pain, improve mental health outcomes, reduce the environmental footprint of other approaches to healthcare and physical activity, and even contribute to environmental restoration. Sometimes going by the name of nature prescriptions, nature-based rehabilitation, outdoor exercise, greenspace exposure, and others, this page will collate and build on the growing evidence and resources to enable you to implement nature-based approaches in your day-to-day practice. 

Relevant publications

Stanhope, J., & Weinstein, P. (2023). What are green prescriptions? A scoping review. Journal of Primary Health Care15(2), 155–161. https://doi.org/10.1071/hc23007

Eliassen, M., Sørensen, B. A., Hartviksen, T. A., Holm, S., & Zingmark, M. (2023). Emplacing reablement: co-creating an outdoor recreation model in the rural Arctic. International Journal of Circumpolar Health82(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/22423982.2023.2273013 

Wagenfeld, A., & Marder, S. (2023). Nature-Based Allied Health Practice: Creative and Evidence-Based Strategies. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. https://uk.jkp.com/products/naturebased-allied-health-practice 

Doran-Sherlock, R., Devitt, S., & Sood, P. (2023). An integrative review of the evidence for Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) in the management of depression and its potential clinical application in evidence-based osteopathy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies., 35, 244–255. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2023.04.038

Busk, H., Ahler, J., Bricca, A., Mikal Holm, P., Varning Poulsen, D., Skou, S. T., & Tang, L. H. (2023). Exercise-based rehabilitation in and with nature: a scoping review mapping available interventions. Annals of Medicine55(2). https://doi.org/10.1080/07853890.2023.2267083

Vibholm, A. P., Christensen, J. R., & Pallesen, H. (2022). Occupational therapists and physiotherapists experiences of using nature-based rehabilitation. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2021.2023927

Hernegger, S. (2022). Incorporating traditional Finnish Winter Swimming into Physiotherapy for treating Chronic Pain: a Systematized Literature Review (Bachelor Thesis). Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Finland. https://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-202304276636

Astell-Burt, T., Pappas, E., Redfern, J., & Feng, X. (2022). Nature prescriptions for community and planetary health: unrealised potential to improve compliance and outcomes in physiotherapy. Journal of Physiotherapy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2022.05.016

Stanhope, J., Maric, F., Rothmore, P., & Weinstein, P. (2021). Physiotherapy and ecosystem services: improving the health of our patients, the population, and the environment. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2021.2015814

Garriga, A., Sempere-Rubio, N., Molina-Prados, M. J., & Faubel, R. (2021). Impact of Seasonality on Physical Activity: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010002

Toner, A., Lewis, J. S., Stanhope, J., & Maric, F. (2021). Prescribing active transport as a planetary health intervention – benefits, challenges and recommendations. Physical Therapy Reviews26(3), 159–167. https://doi.org/10.1080/10833196.2021.1876598

Stanhope, J., Breed, M. F., & Weinstein, P. (2020). Exposure to greenspaces could reduce the high global burden of pain. Environmental Research187, 109641. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109641 

Vibholm, A. P., Christensen, J. R., & Pallesen, H. (2020). Nature-based rehabilitation for adults with acquired brain injury: a scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Health Research30(6), 661–676. https://doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2019.1620183

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Master in Landscape and Planning (with a specialization in Nature-based therapy and health promotion), at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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