There is a growing body of research that spending time in nature is good for us.
We spend time in nature in different ways. Contact with nature can happen as part of our daily lives, or when we actively choose to engage with it. This could look like green exercise, gardening, or watching a natural view from a window.
Research shows that all types of nature contact can benefit our health and wellbeing. Spending time nature can have physical benefits, like reducing obesity and cardiovascular disease. Nature can also help with our mental health and wellbeing. It can bring us improved self-esteem, mood and an increased sense of calm.
When we have contact with nature we can start to develop a connection to nature. Connection to nature means how we include nature as part of our personal identities. It includes our emotional relationship with the natural world, our knowledge and behaviour.
Connection to nature is also linked with increased wellbeing. People who feel a strong sense of nature connection are more likely to feel happy and fulfilled.
Nature, health and care farming
Nature experiences are sometimes used to benefit health, social care or education outcomes for people with a defined need. This known as green care.
Care farming sits amongst other green care nature-based therapies. It gives people a way to actively engage with the natural world and can strengthen connection to nature.
Active engagement with the natural world is good for physical and mental health. It also has wider interlinked societal benefits such as improved social inclusion.
For further reading and research on nature and health, please view or download our resources.