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NEER030 A narrative review of reviews of nature exposure and human health and well-being in the UK (NEER030)

Aims of the review

An extensive review was completed to provide a clear understanding of existing evidence linking exposure to nature and human health and well-being.

What the review tells us

This narrative review of reviews does not look at the impact of nature’s provision on human health/well-being through material resources (e.g., food, fuel, medicine), but instead the impact of exposure to natural environments and active engagement with them. Insights and remaining research gaps are provided for the following exposures:

  • General nature exposure, most commonly measured as the quantity or presence of green and blue spaces in the local area, but also exposure to extreme weather events, climate, and specific bits of nature (e.g., pollen and wildlife).

  • Active engagement with nature, which may be measured as the frequency and/or length of an individual’s time spent in natural environments, or instead as organised activity (often termed ‘nature-based interventions’).

  • Exposure to contaminated nature during time in natural environments. These include pollutants, toxins, chemicals and foreign objects found within water, air and/or on the land.

  • Exposure to nature improvement that people may experience during time in natural environments. This may be improvements in the quality or quantity of nature, whether land, air or water quality. Engagement with activity intended to achieve improvements is also included in this category.


The review adds to understanding of the wider determinants of health, as well as the broader implications of biodiversity loss. Insights aim to support evidence-led and joined-up thinking between the health and environment sectors.

Downloads available for this record

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NEER030 A narrative review of reviews of nature exposure and human health and well-being in the UK, PDF, 2.6 MB 2024/03/01