Health Benefits of Nature Experience: The Challenge of Linking Practice and Research

  • Ann Van HerzeleEmail author
  • Simon Bell
  • Terry Hartig
  • Marie Therese Camilleri Podesta
  • Ronald van Zon


While there is a growing base of knowledge concerning the health benefits of nature experience, this knowledge appears to be insufficiently translated into practice. The perceived gap between research and practice is often explained by a lack of hard evidence on the effects and mechanisms at work. In this chapter we argue that strengthening the evidence base is only one of the areas where more needs be done. Converting the evidence into practice is a process that requires concerted attempts with different kinds of effort, and should therefore be viewed from different perspectives. We examine the topic from three distinct perspectives: problem definition (who is responsible?); acceptability (what constitutes acceptable evidence?); applicability (can the evidence be used in practice?). Throughout, we use examples from various disciplinary fields to illustrate the significant challenges and complexities faced in joining practice and research.


Nature Experience Health Relationship British Heart Foundation Causal Story Urban Green Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Van Herzele
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simon Bell
    • 2
    • 3
  • Terry Hartig
    • 4
  • Marie Therese Camilleri Podesta
    • 5
  • Ronald van Zon
    • 6
  1. 1.Research Institute for Nature and ForestBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Open Space Research CentreEdinburgh College of ArtEdinburghUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Department of Landscape ArchitectureEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia
  4. 4.Institute for Housing and Urban ResearchUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  5. 5.Anatomy DepartmentUniversity of MaltaTal-QroqqMalta
  6. 6.Independent consultantHaarlemThe Netherlands

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