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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Mental, physical and social health benefits of immersive nature-experience for children and adolescents: A systematic review and quality assessment of the evidence

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In this systematic review, we summarised and evaluated the evidence for benefits of immersive nature-experience on children and adolescents' mental, physical and social health. An electronic search was performed for English language articles published between January 2004 and May 2017. Data were extracted from 84 publications that met the inclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed for a subset of the studies, i.e. controlled between- and within-subject studies, using a systematic assessment scheme, and the quality of the evidence was reviewed at an outcome level. Across heterogeneous types of immersive nature-experience, there was conditional support for benefits on self-esteem, self-efficacy, resilience and academic and cognitive performance. Correlational research evidenced higher levels of physical activity in natural environments than comparison conditions. Benefits for outcomes such as self-concept, problem solving, and mood were more inconclusive. In addition, social skill-oriented and behavioural indicators were improved, although the categories comprised different outcomes. Risk of bias, insufficient sampling methods and unsuited comparison groups were common study limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102136
JournalHealth & place
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Friluftsliv (outdoor life), Green exercise, Health promotion, Social ecology/human ecology, Therapy

ID: 57540066