Health and Nature

Experiencing nature has well-documented benefits for human health and well-being, but existing studies often offer only a broad understanding of these advantages. Researchers, theorists, and design practitioners have made strides in identifying specific aspects of nature that aid in the healing process. However, it remains crucial to pinpoint the specific environmental factors that contribute to these benefits.

This paper undertakes a scoping review to explore how humans interact with nature, mapping key concepts, describing types of evidence, and identifying research gaps. Databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, and ScienceDirect were searched using targeted keywords related to the topic, with supporting case studies reinforcing the core ideas. Additionally, the research investigates which types of nature exposure provide the greatest benefits to individuals.

The findings underscore the need for strategic implementation. They strongly advocate for increased daylighting, biodiversity, and the use of natural materials, as well as incorporating brighter colors like blue or green into designs. Furthermore, designers should consider elements that stimulate other senses—such as auditory, olfactory, and haptic experiences—as these complement the visual benefits of nature exposure. Simultaneously, it is vital to recognize and address factors that may evoke fear in individuals when experiencing nature, ensuring that spaces are designed accordingly to promote a sense of safety and comfort.

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