Special Issue "The Effects of Natural Environments on Human Health"

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alan Ewert

School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: research on the use of biomarkers to measure stress-reduction from engagement in natural landscapes; motives underlying risk-taking behaviors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues:

We welcome submissions of papers involved in developing a better understanding of the relationship between natural environments and human health. For this Special Issue, we take a broad perspective of what constitutes human health and have moved past the more traditional “absence of disease” connotation to include an individual’s holistic well-being. Likewise, we take a more comprehensive view of natural environments to include areas and landscapes that contain a variety of factors associated with the natural world. Thus, greenways, municipal parks, wilderness areas, yard space, and other ways of connecting individuals to nature are considered. With the advancements in technology, submissions focusing on built environments, artificial elements of nature, virtual reality, and other digital and technologically-enabled environments are also welcome. Specific examples of topics that would be considered in this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following: Historical connections between health and natural environments; health benefits and outcomes from the nature experience; sense of place in natural settings; urban and municipal natural landscapes and their contributions to health; negative health effects from natural environments; physical, psychological, neurological, cognitive, and behavioral effects from spending time in nature; physical activity in natural settings, and measuring health benefits of natural settings from an economic, spiritual, or cultural perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Alan Ewert
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Human Health
  • Natural Environments
  • Restoration
  • Stress

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Levels of Nature and Stress Response
Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(5), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8050049
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
A growing number of studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress. A number of questions concerning the effects of natural environments on levels of stress remain including, “Are activities engaged in natural environments
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A growing number of studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress. A number of questions concerning the effects of natural environments on levels of stress remain including, “Are activities engaged in natural environments more or less beneficial at reducing stress when compared to those done in more urban settings?” This study examined this question from the perspective of “levels of nature”. That is, data on levels of stress were collected from three sites, one site having wilderness-like characteristics, a second site representing a municipal-type park, and a third site representing a built environment (indoor exercise facility) within a city. Data were generated using biophysical markers (cortisol and amylase) and a psychological measure within a pre- and post-visit format. Findings suggest that visiting natural environments can be beneficial in reducing both physical and psychological stress levels, with visitors to a natural environment reporting significantly lower levels of stress than their counterparts visiting a more urbanized outdoor setting or indoor exercise facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Natural Environments on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Does Growing up in Urban Compared to Rural Areas Shape Primary Emotional Traits?
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7030060
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Growing up in urban areas represents a possible risk factor in the genesis of psychopathologies. The aim of the present study was to investigate the link between urbanicity variables and indicators for psychiatric disorders. We investigated a potential association between primary emotional traits
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Growing up in urban areas represents a possible risk factor in the genesis of psychopathologies. The aim of the present study was to investigate the link between urbanicity variables and indicators for psychiatric disorders. We investigated a potential association between primary emotional traits and urbanicity variables in 324 individuals from Germany and 713 individuals from China. Higher scores in the urbanicity index in childhood were inversely associated with FEAR and SADNESS only in adult Chinese females. These effects seemed to be driven by living in Chinese mega-cities, because a parallel sample from Germany and China (contrasting upbringing in cities with the categories <10,000 inhabitants, ≥10,000 inhabitants (but <100,000), and ≥100,000 inhabitants) resulted in weaker, but more similar effects in females in both countries. Additional associations could be observed with higher PLAY and urban upbringing in Chinese males. The results seem surprising, given an expectation of adverse emotional effects from growing up in todays’ mega-cities compared to rural areas. Although we do not want to over-interpret our findings (given rather small correlations and multiple testing issues), they should encourage researchers to consider including urbanicity variables in personality neuroscience and personality oriented clinical psychiatric research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Natural Environments on Human Health)
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