Forests, Trees and Human Health and Well-being: Introduction
Traditional medical and public health approaches to illness and health are among the successes of modern science. However, society today is faced with the increasing incidence of various forms of poor health related to modern lifestyles. Contributing factors include an increasingly sedentary population, increasing levels of psychological stress related to urban living and contemporary work practices. In addition people with disabilities and chronic illness demand a transition from institutional care to care in society. These problems encourage thinking about alternative ways to prevent disease and promote health. Lack of physical activity and stress have led to increased occurrence of certain diseases where medication is perhaps only reducing the symptoms rather than combating the true cases of illness and reduced quality of life. Efforts to promote public health and well-being in Europe have thus become increasingly complex.