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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 6586-6611; doi:10.3390/ijerph110606586

Nature-Based Stress Management Course for Individuals at Risk of Adverse Health Effects from Work-Related Stress—Effects on Stress Related Symptoms, Workability and Sick Leave

1
Department of Work Science, Business Economics and Environmental Psychology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 88, S-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
2
Institute of Stress Medicine, Sweden and Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland, Carl Skottbergs gata 22B, SE-413 19 Göteborg, Sweden
3
Department of Social and Behavioral Studies, University West, SE-461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 April 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 12 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [665 KB, uploaded 23 June 2014]   |  

Abstract

Sick leave due to stress-related disorders is increasing in Sweden after a period of decrease. To avoid that individuals living under heavy stress develop more severe stress-related disorders, different stress management interventions are offered. Self-assessed health, burnout-scores and well-being are commonly used as outcome measures. Few studies have used sick-leave to compare effects of stress interventions. A new approach is to use nature and garden in a multimodal stress management context. This study aimed to explore effects on burnout, work ability, stress-related health symptoms, and sick leave for 33 women participating in a 12-weeks nature based stress management course and to investigate how the nature/garden activities were experienced. A mixed method approach was used. Measures were taken at course start and three follow-ups. Results showed decreased burnout-scores and long-term sick leaves, and increased work ability; furthermore less stress-related symptoms were reported. Tools and strategies to better handle stress were achieved and were widely at use at all follow-ups. The garden and nature content played an important role for stress relief and for tools and strategies to develop. The results from this study points to beneficial effects of using garden activities and natural environments in a stress management intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature-based therapy; garden activities; sleep quality; burnout; exhaustion disorder nature-based therapy; garden activities; sleep quality; burnout; exhaustion disorder
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sahlin, E.; Ahlborg, G., Jr.; Matuszczyk, J.V.; Grahn, P. Nature-Based Stress Management Course for Individuals at Risk of Adverse Health Effects from Work-Related Stress—Effects on Stress Related Symptoms, Workability and Sick Leave. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 6586-6611.

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