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Positive health effects of the natural outdoor environment in typical populations in different regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE) (PHENOTYPE)
Start date: Jan 1, 2012, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Indications exist that close contact with nature brings benefits to human health and well-being. The proposed work will investigate the interconnections between exposure to natural outdoor environments, in both rural and urban settings, and better human health and well-being in the North West, South and East of Europe. The project will explore the underlying mechanisms at work (stress reduction/restorative function, physical activity, social interaction, exposure to environmental hazards) and examine the health effects (general health and well-being, mental health/neural development, stress, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory mortality and morbidity, birth outcomes and obesity) for different population groups (pregnant women and/or foetus, different age groups, socio-economic status, ethnic minorities and patients). We will use conventional and new innovative high tech methods to characterize the natural environment in terms of quality and quantity. Preventive as well as therapeutic effects of contact with the natural environment will be covered. We will address implications for land-use planning and green space management. The work will produce more robust evidence base on links between exposure to natural outdoor environment and human health and well-being, and a better integration of human health needs into land use planning and green space management in rural as well as urban areas.
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