Being in Nature and Life Satisfaction (05-01-17)

Biedenweg, Scott, and Scott’s research indicates how important it is for everyone to have regular access to nature, whether they live in a city or not.  The team determined after analyzing the responses of thousands of people to survey questions that  “Psychological benefits from time spent in the outdoors, Outdoor recreational activities, Environmentally related social and cultural events, and Sense of place had significant, positive relationships to life satisfaction. . . . Engaging in physical activity is widely recognized as contributing to physical and mental wellbeing, and the added benefit of being outdoors contributes to stress reduction and cognitive restoration . . .  Sense of place is usually defined as assigning meaning and attachment to a physical space and/or social community. . . . environmental governance. . . . was the highest correlate to life satisfaction in our sample, [indicating that] simply ensuring the provision of tangible benefits is not enough for human wellbeing; the process by which decisions are made about managing and distributing services is critically important.”

Kelly Biedenweg, Ryan Scott, and Tyler Scott.  “How Does Engaging with Nature Relate to Life Satisfaction?  Demonstrating the Link Between Environment-Specific Social Experiences and Life Satisfaction.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press.