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Published, June 9th 2004

Nature and Health. The influence of nature on social, psychological and physical well-being

For many people, nature is a place to relax and recover from the stresses of day-to-day life. The hectic pace of modern society means that people are turning more and more to nature for relaxation and recreation. However, in an increasingly populated and urbanised society, nature is no longer an inevitable component of the immediate living environment. To find nature, we have to travel greater and greater distances, by car, train or plane.

Committee

  • Dr F Woudenberg, environmental medicine/psychology; head of General Health Care (AZG) section, Municipal Health Authority (GGD), Rotterdam, chairman
  • Prof. JFG Bunders, biology; Biology and Society, Free University (VU), Amsterda, vice-chairman
  • Dr LFM van den Aarsen, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Hague, consultant (from December 2002 to March 2003)
  • Dr AE van den Berg, environmental psychology; Alterra, Wageningen
  • Dr JF Brosschot, psychophysiology; Clinical and Health Psychology, Leiden University
  • Prof. PP Groenewegen, medical sociologist; Netherlands Institute for Research into Health Care (NIVEL), Utrecht
  • Prof. CJ Heijnen, psychoneuroimmunology, University Medical Centre (UMC), Utrecht
  • Dr VH Hildebrandt, physician, “Exercise and Health” project leader; TNO (Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) Work and Employment, Hoofddorp
  • GJ Hoogenstrijd, project secretary; Advisory Council for Research on Spatial Planning, Nature and the Environment (RMNO), The Hague, consultant
  • Dr PC de Hullu, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Hague, consultant (since March 2003)
  • Dr AE Kunst, epidemiology; Community Health Care department, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam
  • Dr R van Poll, National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Hygiene (RIVM), Centre for Environmental Health Research (MGO), Bilthoven, consultant
  • Dr HJAM Staats, environmental psychology; Social and Organisational Psychology, Leiden University
  • Dr JAA Swart, biology; Biology and Society, University of Groningen
  • J van Zoest, biology; Urban Planning Service, Municipality of Amsterdam, lecturer at Eindhoven University of Technology
  • MMHE van den Berg, Health Council, The Hague, scientific secretary

This publication may be cited as follows

Health Council of the Netherlands and Dutch Advisory Council for Research on Spatial Planning, Nature and the Environment. Nature and Health. The influence of nature on social, psychological and physical well-being. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands and RMNO, 2004; publication no. 2004/09E; RMNO publication nr A02ae.