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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

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Thursday, April 20 • 11:15am - 12:30pm
The Health Benefits of Nature: An Evidence-Based Medical Review of the Literature FULL
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There is increasing literature on the connections between nature and human health. This is particularly relevant as our cities—and the Earth—struggle with the increased pressures of an urbanized landscape. Scientific evidence is important for informing policy decisions on educational programming, community initiatives, and urban design of the built environment. We therefore present a comprehensive, critical review of the possible human health benefits of nature exposure, including: increased physical activity in children with associated decreased obesity; improved social cohesion and community well-being; healthier pregnancies and birth weights; decreases in myopia rates; improvements in cognitive/academic functioning, attention, personal resiliency, and psychological wellness; decreased lengths of hospital admissions; and spiritual re-connection with our world at the end-of-life. The Hygiene Hypothesis and the Biodiversity Hypothesis are discussed as overarching themes that are being considered to tie these nature-health benefits together. Finally, we will discuss knowledge gaps and next research steps to address them.

avatar for Doug Klein

Doug Klein

Family Physician
I am a family physician and researcher with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada. I am interested in the area of nutrition, physical activity and the health benefits of nature for both children and adults. I currently lead the research team CHANGE... Read More →
avatar for Clark Svrcek

Clark Svrcek

Physician, Alberta Health Services/University of Calgary
I am currently a locum family physician recently graduated from the University of Calgary, but I also wear the hats of environmental engineer, explorer, husband, and father. I have interests in both qualitative and quantitative research, the most recent being the role that ‘touch... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 11:15am - 12:30pm PDT
Bayshore Grand Ballroom