chapter  3
20 Pages

Nearby nature and human health: looking at mechanisms and their implications

In the past centuries human health tended to be primarily threatened by infec-

tious diseases. At present our health seems to be increasingly threatened by

so-called lifestyle-related diseases (Nilsson, Baines and Konijnendijk, 2007). Partly

this may be due to a broader view on health, as exemplifi ed by the defi nition

adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1946 (to which I too will

adhere): ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and

not merely the absence of disease or infi rmity.’