This article was originally published on Phys.org.


“A new study led by the University of Washington has found that not all forms of nature are created equal when considering benefits to people’s well-being. Experiencing wildness, specifically, is particularly important for physical and mental health, according to the study published Jan. 29 in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.

Past research has found health and wellness benefits of nature for humans, but this is the first study to show that wildness in  is profoundly important for human well-being.

“It was clear from our results that different kinds of nature can have different effects on people,” said lead author Elizabeth Lev, a graduate student in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. “The wilder areas in an urban park seem to be affording more benefits to people—and their most meaningful interactions depended on those relatively wild features.”

…”We looked at Discovery Park, but this is about the entire planet,” said senior author Peter Kahn, a UW professor of environmental and forest sciences and psychology. “Everywhere, development is chipping away at wild areas. Humanity has caused so much destruction and there’s no stopping it—unless we stop. We’re trying to show that if you’re going to develop an area, you at least need to understand the human costs.”

Read on at: Phys.org