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Article

Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness

by 1,* and 2
1
School of Life Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
2
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217769
Received: 17 September 2020 / Revised: 14 October 2020 / Accepted: 20 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Exercise and Health Promotion)
A number of countries have begun to adopt prevention pays policies and practices to reduce pressure on health and social care systems. Most affluent countries have seen substantial increases in the incidence and costs of non-communicable diseases. The interest in social models for health has led to the growth in use of social prescribing and psychological therapies. At the same time, there has been growth in application of a variety of nature-based and mind–body interventions (NBIs and MBIs) aimed at improving health and longevity. We assess four NBI/MBI programmes (woodland therapy, therapeutic horticulture, ecotherapy/green care, and tai chi) on life satisfaction/happiness and costs of use of public services. These interventions produce rises in life satisfaction/happiness of 1.00 pts to 7.29 (n = 644; p < 0.001) (for courses or participation >50 h). These increases are greater than many positive life events (e.g., marriage or a new child); few countries or cities see +1 pt increases over a decade. The net present economic benefits per person from reduced public service use are £830–£31,520 (after 1 year) and £6450–£11,980 (after 10 years). We conclude that NBIs and MBIs can play a role in helping to reduce the costs on health systems, while increasing the well-being of participants. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature-based interventions; mind–body interventions; life satisfaction; happiness; green social prescribing nature-based interventions; mind–body interventions; life satisfaction; happiness; green social prescribing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pretty, J.; Barton, J. Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7769. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217769

AMA Style

Pretty J, Barton J. Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):7769. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217769

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pretty, Jules, and Jo Barton. 2020. "Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 7769. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217769

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