The Human–Nature Relationship and Its Impact on Health: A Critical Review
Keywords: human health, human–nature relationship, natural .. with the Earth's surface regulates diurnal body rhythms () as well as. By creating humanity in His image and declaring that they shall “fill the earth and master it”, God explicitly places the natural world under the. So, for example, the relationships between genes in the human body, rather than Life on earth also exists in a spatial relationship to the atmosphere, which.
It can be characterized as the positive state of well-being and the capacity of a person to cope with life stresses as well as contribute to community engagement activities 83 It has the ability to both determine as well as be determined by a host of multifaceted health and social factors being inextricably linked to overall health, inclusive of diet, exercise, and environmental conditions.How the Universe is Way Bigger Than You Think
As a result, there are no single definitive indicators used to capture its overall measurement. This owes in part to the breadth of methods and tends to represent hedonic e.
Third, social health can be generalized as the ability to lead life with some degree of independence and participate in social activities Indicators of the concept revolve around social relationships, social cohesion, and participation in community activities. Further, such mechanisms are closely linked to improving physical and mental well-being as well as forming constructs, which underline social capital.
Owing to its complexity, its measurement focuses on strengths of primary networks or relationships e. Current Knowledge on the Human—Nature Relationship and Health This section summarizes existing theoretical and literature research at the intersection of the human—nature relationship and health, as defined in this review.
Our Role and Relationship With Nature | Environmental Topics and Essays
Physical Health Though it is widely established that healthy eating and regular exercise have major impacts on physical health 98within the past 30 years research has also identified that exposure to nature e. Empirical research in this domain was first carried out by Ulrich 46 who found that those hospital patients exposed to natural scenery from a window view experienced decreased levels of pain and shorter recovery time after surgery. In spite of its increasing findings, some have suggested the need for further objective research at the intersect of nature-based parameters and human health 9.
This presents inherent difficulty in comparing assessment measures or different data types relative to the size and scale of the variables being evaluated 9. Further, there still remain evidence gaps in data on what activities might increase levels of physical health as well as limited amount of longitudinal datasets from which the frequency, duration, and causal directions could be inferred Mental Health Mental health studies in the context of connecting with nature have also generated a growing research base since the emergence of the Biophilia concept in the mids Supporting research has been well documented in literature during the last few decades.
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Similarly, further mixed-method approaches and larger sample sizes are needed in this research field. This would enhance existing evidence gaps to enhance existing knowledge of variable interlinkages with other important sources e.
Social Health In the last two decades, the relationship between people and place in the context of green spaces has received much attention in academic literature in regards to its importance for the vitality of communities and their surrounding environments One of the main limitations within this field relates to the generally perceived idea that public green spaces are freely open to everyone in all capacities This limitation has been, as already, highlighted from the emerging arguments in the field of environmental justice and economic—nature conflicts As such, many researchers highlight the need to maintain awareness of other barriers that might hinder cohesion and community participation e.
The charcoal delivers a long-term record of human burning, whether intentional or accidental, that coincides with the arrival of modern humans in a particular area. That arrival also often coincides with the extinction of large predators and large animals, generally. But how exactly do humans impact a new environment? Scientists have used computer models that aim to estimate how quickly and how profoundly Homo sapiens change the landscape. One option estimates land use simply based on the number of humans around, assuming a minimum acreage required to support a person.
The other model has humans relatively quickly sprawl through an entire area, but then contract to intensify land use in support of a larger but denser population. This might be dubbed the laziness principle—humans invest the least amount of work, technology or any other resource as possible to survive and even thrive, these researchers argue.
Our Role and Relationship With Nature
Take for example rice cultivation in Asia, developed some 6, years ago in the Yangtze River Valley but not adopted for another thousand years or so in areas of southern China and Southeast Asia. As the human population swells—as seen in the record of fertilizer use in Europe and Asia—the resources then become more intensively used. So how is it that our species has come to dominate the landscape in such a short period of time? Furthermore, what gives us the right to do so? However, our rapid success as a species has begun to affect this natural order.
The ability of humans to manipulate the landscape and recognize the consequences of doing so puts us in a peculiar position. As a species we are assigned the duty to provide and proliferate. Our goal is to achieve stability for ourselves and our kin.
However we also have an obligation to maintain the environment, as we depend on the resources and services it provides. The question then becomes: Do we have the right to manipulate the land, factory farm animals, and pollute waterways? Or do we have an obligation to reduce our numbers and merely subsist?
In order to answer these questions we must rely on our knowledge of Earth, evolution, and our influence on the environment. History Our relationship with nature has historically been one of imbalance and overuse. Nearly every step in human history has unfortunately been accompanied with a leap in environmental degradation.
At first, humans were incredibly in-tune with their surroundings. Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes used to roam the lands, following the ebb and flow of the seasons.
These tribes had a measurable impact on the environment, but their influence was relatively manageable due to their population size. With advancements in technology and agriculture though, humans began to find more efficient ways of sustaining themselves. These advancements allowed for more permanent settlements, which led to rapid population growth and a distancing from nature. As society evolved, populations grew and more and more resources were required to fuel the expansion.
With breakthroughs in agriculture, settlements became more permanent and cities began to take shape. This shift to city life inadvertently led to a distancing from nature. While many people were still in-tune with nature on a subsistent level, the need for more and more resources began to change our regard for nature. Although our distancing from nature began several thousand years ago with advancements in agriculture and social order, it is the age of industry to which we owe our modern regard for nature.
The growth of cities allowed for a separation between people and nature and our obsession with convenience and efficiency beckoned a new perspective on the environment. With technological advancements, nature became something we were no longer apart of and entirely subject to, but something that we could control and profit off of.
The growth of industry enabled humans to truly dominate the landscape and disrupt the natural systems that have been in place for billions of years. As we have removed ourselves further and further from nature, we have developed a willing ignorance of our role and relationship within it. With the growth of cities and trade we have moved from a subsistent, sustainable economy to one of greed and exploitation. Humans have always had an impact on the environment, but with the age of industry that impact has been ultra-magnified.
Population growth has been exponentiated, cities have become the primary place of residence, and the majority of the world is now out of touch with the workings of nature.