A 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Nature campaign has been launched, with the aim to highlight the importance of outside activity.
The campaign is part of the Healthy Parks Healthy People SA initiative, which is jointly run by the Department for Health and Ageing and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
It can be as simple as going for a walk in the fresh air or appreciating the beauty of nature.
The Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative focuses on the relationship between spending time in nature and better mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Nature is based on research from the UK, by the New Economics Foundation.
State Environment Minister Ian Hunter and Health Minister Peter Malinauskas launched the 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Nature campaign.
“While most people understand the importance of protecting their physical health and take steps to eat well or exercise, many are less aware of the simple actions they can take to protect their mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Hunter said.
“The 5 Ways to Wellbeing in Nature campaign aims to improve people’s awareness of how to protect and promote their mental health and wellbeing.”
A number of recent studies have linked spending time in nature to a range of health and mental health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, reduced stress, stronger immune systems and improved productivity.
Posters and starter packs of five postcards featuring the messages, “Connect”, “Be active”, “Take notice”, “Keep learning” and “Give” are being distributed to key organisations like local councils, suicide prevention networks and other NGOs.
Mr Hunter said spending time outdoors in the fresh air can make people feel happier and healthier.
“...you don’t need to do anything complicated to enjoy the benefits,” he said.
“It can be as simple as spending half an hour in your local national park and taking a walk, or just relaxing under a tree and listening to the birds sing.”
Activating the evidence – connecting nature to health – is the cornerstone of Healthy Parks Healthy People SA.
There are seven focus areas for action which are:
Promoting physical activity in nature
Mental health benefits of contact with nature
Promoting the cultural value of Country for Aboriginal health and wellbeing
Community health and wellbeing in a changing climate
Childhood development and nature Focus area
Green infrastructure in urban settings
Biodiversity, conservation and human health.
For more information visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/5WaystoWellbeing