DOI link for Human Health
Human Health book
This chapter focuses on the health benefits of human contact with forests. It provides an overview of the rising global burden of disease and the pathways through which forest environments contribute to improved health—stress relief, physical activity, and social cohesion. The chapter outlines various health outcomes that have been correlated with green space accessibility and the use of forest environments as an intervention in therapeutic contexts. It reviews the negative effects of forests on human health and examines how the various ecosystem services provided from forests—provisioning, regulating, and supporting—contribute to human health. The chapter shows that human health can be maintained and improved through “green” investments, with optimal outcomes dependent on approaches that incorporate multiple systems, including healthcare, urban, and environmental planning. Risk factors and challenges require actions from various sectors, not only healthcare, but also urban planning, environmental management, infrastructure, and social services.