Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 1176-1191; doi:10.3390/ijerph110101176
Article

Connectedness to Nature and Public (Skin) Health Perspectives: Results of a Representative, Population-Based Survey among Austrian Residents

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Received: 12 October 2013; in revised form: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 20 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
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Abstract: Connectedness to nature (CN) influences motivation to have contact with outdoor natural environments. Spending leisure time in natural environments is beneficial for human health and well-being. Besides these positive effects, health risks of open-air activities are mainly related to unprotected sun light exposure-associated acute and chronic skin hazards. Thus, we conducted a cross-sectional, representative telephone survey among Austrian residents to study the association of perceived CN level with sun-exposure knowledge, tanning habits, and sun protective behaviour. In total, 1,500 study subjects (50.5% females) participated in this questionnaire survey. Although knowledge about tanning and motives to tan were similar among genders, females performed more photoprotective measures and were more connected to nature (all p < 0.001) compared to males. Older age and outdoor sport were significant gender-independent predictor variables influencing perceived CN level. Additionally, level of education was relevant in male CN, whereas non-smoking and higher knowledge were predictive of female CN. This survey provides so far unreported empirical data on the relationship between nature connectedness and skin health-relevant recreational habits of Austrian residents. The findings suggest to integrate hitherto neglected gender-specific Public (Skin) Health promotion when counselling on the manifold health advantages of outdoor activities.
Keywords: melanoma; skin cancer prevention; gender differences; connectedness to nature; questionnaire survey; Public Health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Haluza, D.; Simic, S.; Höltge, J.; Cervinka, R.; Moshammer, H. Connectedness to Nature and Public (Skin) Health Perspectives: Results of a Representative, Population-Based Survey among Austrian Residents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1176-1191.

AMA Style

Haluza D, Simic S, Höltge J, Cervinka R, Moshammer H. Connectedness to Nature and Public (Skin) Health Perspectives: Results of a Representative, Population-Based Survey among Austrian Residents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(1):1176-1191.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haluza, Daniela; Simic, Stana; Höltge, Jan; Cervinka, Renate; Moshammer, Hanns. 2014. "Connectedness to Nature and Public (Skin) Health Perspectives: Results of a Representative, Population-Based Survey among Austrian Residents." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 1: 1176-1191.


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