About this Research Topic
There is growing evidence to support the health and wellbeing benefits of nature-based physical activities (also termed Green Exercise). Evidence from across the globe indicates that participation in a variety of forms of Green Exercise results in improvements in both physical and mental health that are universally obtainable. However, there is evidence to suggest that the greatest benefits might be experienced by vulnerable groups and those with low well-being.
Social Prescribing is a method through which the NHS enables individuals with socioeconomic and/or psychosocial needs to select one or more ‘social’ activities to attend as part of their healthcare. Nature-based activities represent one form of social prescribing and might include activities such as nature walks, community gardening, or conservation. There has been substantial demand for nature-based social prescriptions, with significant investment in the provision of these types of activities.
Whilst there has been significant investment in nature-based social prescriptions, evidence of the health and wellbeing impact of these activities across the broad range of service users is limited. There is also a lack of evidence of the physiological health outcomes to support measures of psychological health, and the feasibility and acceptability of these social prescriptions are not known. Furthermore, a comparison of the effectiveness of different types of nature-based social prescriptions and of nature-based social prescriptions to other types of social prescriptions (e.g., art-based activities) is required to further increase the provision and ensure effective delivery of activities to diverse groups.
This Research Topic aims to bring together articles focused on the feasibility of prescribing nature-based activities for the treatment of ill-health and to explore the range of health and wellbeing benefits that can be derived from participation in different nature-based social prescriptions. We are particularly interested in submissions which comprise:
• Research that explores the feasibility of prescribing different types of nature-based physical activities
• Research that utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the health benefits of nature-based social prescriptions
• Quantitative research examining both the physiological and psychological benefits of nature-based social prescriptions
• Research that compares the outcomes of different types of nature-based activities, or different types of social prescriptions (e.g., art-based activities) to nature-based social prescriptions.
We welcome a mix of research-based and review article types, including Original Research and Systematic Reviews.
Keywords: Nature, Physical Activity, Green Exercise, Health, Wellbeing, Social Prescribing
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.