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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 7974-7989; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707974

Moving to Serene Nature May Prevent Poor Mental Health—Results from a Swedish Longitudinal Cohort Study

1
Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-23053 Alnarp, Sweden
2
Department of Community Health, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, S-20502 Malmö, Sweden
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Agnes van den Berg and Jenny Roe
Received: 4 April 2015 / Revised: 25 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [825 KB, uploaded 14 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Green spaces are recognized for improving mental health, but what particular kind of nature is required is yet not elucidated. This study explores the effect of specific types of recreational nature qualities on mental health. Longitudinal data (1999/2000 and 2005) from a public health survey was distributed to a stratified sample (n = 24,945) of a Swedish population. People from rural or suburban areas (n = 9230) who had moved between baseline and follow-up (n = 1419) were studied. Individual geographic residence codes were linked to five predefined nature qualities, classified in geographic information systems (GIS). Any change in the amount of or type of qualities within 300 m distance between baseline and follow-up was correlated to any change in mental health (as measured by the General Health Questionnaire) by logistic regression models. On average, the population had limited access to nature qualities both pre- and post-move. There was no significant correlation between change in the amount of qualities and change in mental health. However, the specific quality “serene” was a significant determinant with a significantly decreased risk for women of change to mental ill-health at follow-up. The objective definition of the potentially health-promoting quality may facilitate implication in landscape practice and healthy planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: longitudinal; mental health; nature type; public health survey; recreation; GIS; wellbeing; salutogenic longitudinal; mental health; nature type; public health survey; recreation; GIS; wellbeing; salutogenic
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

van den Bosch, M.A.; Östergren, P.-O.; Grahn, P.; Skärbäck, E.; Währborg, P. Moving to Serene Nature May Prevent Poor Mental Health—Results from a Swedish Longitudinal Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 7974-7989.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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