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Review

Effect of Nature Walks on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review

1
Human Sciences Research Centre, University of Derby, Derby DE22 1GB, UK
2
Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, Derby DE22 1GB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Takahide Kagawa
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4015; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13074015
Received: 5 March 2021 / Revised: 30 March 2021 / Accepted: 2 April 2021 / Published: 4 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Benefits of Walking or Staying in Forest Areas)
The benefits of nature for our health have been an increasing research focus in recent years. In the context of a global increase in mental health diagnoses, the potential health benefits of nature have attracted attention. One practical nature treatment is to walk in nature. However, evidence for this practice on mental health has not been comprehensively appraised to date. This systematic review synthesized the effects of nature walks for depression and anxiety, and evaluated the methodological rigor of studies. Academic databases including ProQuest, PsycINFO, Science Direct, and Google Scholar were utilized to identify eligible articles, which were examined using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Of 385 articles initially retrieved, 12 studies met all the eligibility criteria (nine pre-post within-subject studies, two quasi-experimental studies, and one experimental between-subjects study). These studies demonstrated that nature walks were effective for state anxiety but not generalized anxiety and the effects for depression were inconsistent. Findings indicate that nature walks may be effective for mental health, especially for reducing state anxiety. However, the quality of the included studies varied, and sample sizes were small, suggesting a need for more rigorous and large-scale research. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature walk; state anxiety; PRISMA; nature-based intervention; systematic review nature walk; state anxiety; PRISMA; nature-based intervention; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kotera, Y.; Lyons, M.; Vione, K.C.; Norton, B. Effect of Nature Walks on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4015. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13074015

AMA Style

Kotera Y, Lyons M, Vione KC, Norton B. Effect of Nature Walks on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review. Sustainability. 2021; 13(7):4015. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13074015

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kotera, Yasuhiro, Melinda Lyons, Katia C. Vione, and Briony Norton. 2021. "Effect of Nature Walks on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review" Sustainability 13, no. 7: 4015. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13074015

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