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Medical Public Health

Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health

The role of nature in improving the health of a population

edited by Matilda van den Bosch & William Bird

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2018
Public Health
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2018
    List Price

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Human beings have always been affected by their surroundings. There are various health benefits linked to being able to access to nature; including increased physical activity, stress recovery, and the stimulation of child cognitive development. The Oxford Textbook of Nature and Health provides a broad and inclusive picture of the relationship between our own health and the natural environment. All aspects of this unique relationship are covered, ranging from disease prevention through physical activity in green spaces to innovative ecosystem services, such as climate change adaptation by urban trees. Potential hazardous consequences are also discussed including natural disasters, vector-borne pathogens, and allergies.

This book analyses the complexity of our human interaction with nature and includes sections for example epigenetics, stress physiology, and impact assessments. These topics are all interconnected and fundamental for reaching a full understanding of the role of nature in public health and wellbeing.

Much of the recent literature on environmental health has primarily described potential threats from our natural surroundings. The Oxford Textbook of Nature and Health instead focuses on how nature can positively impact our health and wellbeing, and how much we risk losing by destroying it. The all-inclusive approach provides a comprehensive and complete coverage of the role of nature in public health, making this textbook invaluable reading for health professionals, students, and researchers within public health, environmental health, and complementary medicine.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Matilda van den Bosch is a physician with a PhD in landscape planning and public health. Her work cuts across medicine and environmental sciences, exploring interactions between human health and nature. Her main focus is health benefits from natural environments and how ecosystem services protect health in a changing climate. Her work is widely acknowledged, featuring in for example National Geographic. Apart from teaching and research activities at the University of British Columbia, Matilda has worked as a consultant to WHO, UN Environmental Programme, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. She is president of the Swedish Society of Behavioural Medicine and president elect of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment.

William Bird is a GP with a special interest in the promotion of outdoor physical activity. He helped set up both the British Heart Foundation National Centre Physical Activity and Health in Loughborough University (2000) and European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro (2010). Between 2000 and 2005 he was clinical director at the Met Office working on the Health Forecasting service. In 2010 William was awarded the MBE for services to promote physical activity and health.