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Old 04-26-2011, 01:22 PM
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Default Biophilia, visual contact with Nature and its relation to health

Some studies seem to suggest that we have an inhereited preference for green plants and open, or wide, views over the landscape. The studies suggests that this is a trait that we have aquired by natural selection during our history as a species. Studies also suggest that seeing nature, seing plants or even seing pictures of plants and natural sceneries is beneficial for our health and for our recovery from illness.

Here is an article about Biophilia and health:

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/6/9/2332/pdf

Quote:
Abstract: It is concluded that an environment devoid of Nature may act as a discord, ie have a negative effect. While the term mismatch is used for any difference between present living conditions and the environment of evolutionary adaptation, discords are mismatches with a potentially undesirable impact on health and quality of life. The problem is partly due to the visual absence of plants, and may be ameliorated by adding elements of Nature, eg creating parks, by offering a view through windows, and by potted plants. The conclusion is based on an evaluation of some fifty relevant empirical studies.
Read more:
Nature plays growing role in health care 'Biophilia' * Peaceful views and sunlight seem to help patients recover more quickly. Marketing * Pleasant settings may spur people to choose such a hospital over others. | Goliath Business News

Psychological Benefits of Nature
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:31 PM
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Also see the book The Biophilia Hypothesis by Stephen R Kellert and Edward O Wilson.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:14 PM
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This is fascinating to read, it would be great if we could get solid proof of this. We all know deep down that Nature heals and protects
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:31 PM
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Indeed. We're programmed at the very essence of our being to coexist with nature, we need to build our society around this, for our health and the health of our planet.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:42 PM
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A little more green would do our concrete empire a lot of good these days.

Last edited by Banefull; 04-26-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
A little more green would do our concrete empire a lot of good these days.
Concrete empire?


I could get up right now and walk or cycle to one of almost a dozen different forests, fields, or ponds and just sit back and take a nap.

It depends on where you live, IMO. If ever wind up getting stuck in a city, I'm going to build myself a greenhouse, and fill it with treefrogs, lizards, and exotic plants.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:14 PM
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Just a metaphor.

Though I do live on the outskirts of a moderately sized city with a few skyscrapers. Ever since college started I've spent a lot of time in Dayton. I myself probably need to get out more into the countryside.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:37 PM
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AFAIK there are studies that show a scientifically significant effect. They mostly looked at replacement nature (parks, city trees, pottef plants etc) than real nature, but even that has a significant effect. Depression is also more prevalent in cities.

And it all makes very much sense, because people often intuitively do what makes them feel better. So people have potted plants, pets, rent a log cabin for a weekend for vacation or fly halfway across the world to stay for 2 weeks in an area that has lush green and open skies. Humans evolved in this environment, it is our "natural habitat" to have trees and open spaces around us and a clear nights sky or colorful clouds. Today, this becomes more and more a luxury though, affordable by the priviledged who can have large homes (open spaces), a garden and a home near a forest or wide open land...
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:46 PM
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Certainly makes sense... People seek these things almost by themselves and without directly thinking about it - after all, presence of many species has numerous health benefits, so I can see the reason from an evolutionary point of view.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:23 PM
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Evolution may be one part but I'd say it is a very simple really - almost any animal will prefer its original habitat that it is adapted to, that is ingrained into its genetic memory to an artificial one. It takes quite some incentive to draw an animal from that habitat. Like feeding animals to lure them somewhere. The animals would never voluntarily leave their habitat unless forced or lured away and they certainly would not really prefer the zoo to a forest or steppe. Cities are zoos for humans - we get fed and in turn have to live in small boxes and there are attempts to make that habitat more natural by putting in potted plants and pets and trees in front of the boxes. The attempts are comparable to creating a pseudo-natural habitat in other zoos - helpful, but in the end inadequate. An animal will feel really well only in its natural habitat. And for humans this means they want to be surrounded by plants and animals and rivers or mountains or open spaces,... not by concrete and asphalt.
Hehe - speaking of myself - I am living with 3 dogs and my room has about 10 plants growing in pots and we have three huge trees in the front yard - that makes me certainly feel better than when I was living in the city. Back then, I tried to secretly put plants on the roof of the house I was living in until the owners noticed and prohibited me from going on top of the roof at all...
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:05 PM
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So true. Walk in the forest always helps when I'm feeling low. I love houseplants too
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:44 PM
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I always get sad that there aren't many trees around here
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:19 PM
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I love forests and there are a few patches here. But sadly patches - the forest here is incredibly fragmented and most of the land is agriculture and much of the forest is tree farms. So few precious forests are left that live. They are not old growth though, but at least these little patches are more or less in a natural state. But almost no forest goes without industrial use. less than a percent of the original forest here remains. That is sad.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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