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Is Nature Relatedness Associated with Better Mental and Physical Health?

Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Zealandia, 31 Waiapu Road, Karori, WLG 6012, New Zealand
Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
CSIRO Land & Water Flagship, PMB 1, 107-121 Station Street, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1371;
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
PDF [331 KB, uploaded 29 June 2018]


Nature relatedness is a psychological characteristic with the potential to drive interaction with nature and influence well-being. We surveyed 1538 people in Brisbane, Australia to investigate how nature relatedness varies among socio-demographic groups. We determined whether people with higher nature relatedness reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and better overall health, controlling for potentially confounding socio-demographic and health-related variables. Overall nature relatedness was higher in older people, females, those without children living at home, not working, and people speaking English at home. Aspects of nature relatedness reflecting enjoyment of nature were consistently associated with reduced ill health, consistent with widespread evidence of the health and well-being benefits of experiencing nature. In contrast, aspects of nature relatedness reflecting self-identification with nature, and a conservation worldview, were associated with increased depression, anxiety or stress, after accounting for potential confounding factors. Detailed investigation of causal pathways among nature relatedness, socio-demographic factors and health is warranted, with particular focus on the relationship between stress and nature orientation. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature relatedness; depression; anxiety; stress; health nature relatedness; depression; anxiety; stress; 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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Dean, J.H.; Shanahan, D.F.; Bush, R.; Gaston, K.J.; Lin, B.B.; Barber, E.; Franco, L.; Fuller, R.A. Is Nature Relatedness Associated with Better Mental and Physical Health? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1371.

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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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