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Review

Influence of External Natural Environment Including Sunshine Exposure on Public Mental Health: A Systematic Review

1
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
2
Teijin Pharma Limited, Tokyo 191-8512, Japan
3
Tsubota Laboratory Inc. Tokyo 160-0016, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paolo Girardi and Antonio Del Casale
Psychiatry Int. 2022, 3(1), 91-113; https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint3010008
Received: 11 February 2022 / Revised: 26 February 2022 / Accepted: 2 March 2022 / Published: 4 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psychiatry International)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging around the world and public health measures such as lockdowns have forced people to go out less often, reducing sunlight exposure time, green space use, and physical activity. It is well known that exercise has a positive impact on mental health, but the impact of external environmental factors such as sunlight exposure and green space use on mental health has not been systematically reviewed. In this review, we categorized the major factors that may affect people’s mental health into (1) external environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight and green spaces, (2) internal life factors such as physical activity and lifestyle, and (3) mixed external and internal factors, and systematically examined the relationship between each factor and people’s mental health. The results showed that exposure to sunlight, spending leisure time in green spaces, and physical activity each had a positive impact on people’s mental health, including depression, anxiety, and stress states. Specifically, moderate physical activity in an external environment with sunlight exposure or green space was found to be an important factor. The study found that exposure to the natural environment through sunbathing and exercise is important for people’s mental health. View Full-Text
Keywords: public mental health; sunlight; green spaces; physical activity; COVID-19; new normal public mental health; sunlight; green spaces; physical activity; COVID-19; new normal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Taniguchi, K.; Takano, M.; Tobari, Y.; Hayano, M.; Nakajima, S.; Mimura, M.; Tsubota, K.; Noda, Y. Influence of External Natural Environment Including Sunshine Exposure on Public Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Psychiatry Int. 2022, 3, 91-113. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint3010008

AMA Style

Taniguchi K, Takano M, Tobari Y, Hayano M, Nakajima S, Mimura M, Tsubota K, Noda Y. Influence of External Natural Environment Including Sunshine Exposure on Public Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Psychiatry International. 2022; 3(1):91-113. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint3010008

Chicago/Turabian Style

Taniguchi, Keita, Mayuko Takano, Yui Tobari, Motoshi Hayano, Shinichiro Nakajima, Masaru Mimura, Kazuo Tsubota, and Yoshihiro Noda. 2022. "Influence of External Natural Environment Including Sunshine Exposure on Public Mental Health: A Systematic Review" Psychiatry International 3, no. 1: 91-113. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychiatryint3010008

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