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Wellbeing

Students walking through colorful path with fall leaves

Wellbeing

There is a special interconnectedness between the health of our planet and the health of our mind and bodies.

Health and Wellbeing plays a role in everyone’s lifestyle, especially in the realm of sustainability. According to Healthy Nature Healthy People, “To seek human health and sustainability without considering the importance of environmental sustainability is to invite potentially devastating consequences for the health and well-being of whole populations.” Improving our overall health is intimately linked to the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land that we grow food from, and the amount of time we spend moving about. 

Here is a list of some awesome health benefits from spending time in nature itself!

  • People with access to nearby natural settings have been found to be healthier overall than other individuals. The longer-term, indirect impacts (of ‘nearby nature’) also include increased levels of satisfaction with one's home, one's job and with life in general (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989 (p. 173)).

  • Early research found that in the act of contemplating nature, the brain is relieved of ‘excess’ circulation (or activity) and nervous system activity is reduced (Yogendra, 1958).

  • An experience of nature can help strengthen the activities of the right hemisphere of the brain and restore harmony to the functions of the brain as a whole (Furnass, 1979). This is a technical explanation of the process that occurs when people ‘clear their head’ by going for a walk in a natural setting

  • Empirical, theoretical and anecdotal evidence demonstrates contact with nature positively impacts blood pressure, cholesterol, outlook on life and stress-reduction (Moore, 1981; Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989; Hartig et al., 1991; Ulrich et al., 1991a; Ulrich et al., 1991b; Kaplan, 1992a; Rohde and Kendle, 1994; Lewis, 1996; Leather et al., 1998; Parsons, et al., 1998).

Campus Resources

It is important to recognize the amazing resources and benefits for our health that come from the environment surrounding us. In terms of our environment on campus, there are many health and wellness resources available for students, staff, and faculty. Click on the links below to learn more about these resources. Know of a wellbeing resource that isn't on this list? Email us at sustain@d.umn.edu and we'll add it. 

Resources:

Maller, C. et al. (2006). Healthy nature healthy people: ‘Contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations, Health Promotion International, Volume 21, Issue 1, 1 (45-54). https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dai032