A new briefing note outlines evidence on the role of the Public Forest Estate managed by the Forestry Commission in helping to tackle physical inactivity. It draws on research into the health benefits of forests but also greenspace and green infrastructure in which trees are often an important or key component. It argues that the Public Forest Estate in England is extremely versatile and has the potential to contribute to cost effective solutions for the health sector targeted at preventing ill health and also in recovery and treatment programmes.
The Environmental Audit Committee has released a report which follows up on its 2011 report on Air Quality. Since then further scientific evidence has emerged on the link between air quality and health. The European Commission has started proceedings against the UK for failure to meet pollution limits on Nitrogen Oxides.
At Plymouth University, the Sustainability, Society and Health Research Group have introduced scenarios to teach nurses and healthcare students about climate change and sustainability. For example nursing and design students work together to tackle issues of sustainability in the health sector. They participate in interdisciplinary, sustainability scenario sessions with the design students observing their nursing counterparts as they conduct clinical procedures as part of their skills training.
This article explores how the global population is ageing at a time when climate variability is increasing. It advocates the development of ‘climate gerontology’ to minimise the negative impact of environmental change on older people. Climate gerontology can examine the unique challenges and needs of older people in coping with extreme weather events. It can contribute to our understanding of the everyday challenges of growing old in a changing climate and how we can achieve the ‘longevity dividend’.
Over recent years, there has been a growing acknowledgement of the importance of nature for human health and wellbeing. Research has shown that separation from nature is implicated in declining physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. A special issue on ‘Health Benefits of Nature’ has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.