We want everyone to have access to the natural environment because we know how beneficial it is for mental and physical health.
Did you know that 150 mins of moderate activity per week can make a massive difference to your health?
• You can increase your life expectancy by 4.5 years
• You can reduce your chances of getting chronic illnesses by 30%
• You can become happier, fitter and more connected to your local community.
Despite the well recognised benefits of regular physical activity, 29% of the West Midlands population are inactive.
We know that “Ecotherapy” and other forms of engagement with the natural environment is a cost-effective way of dealing with health problems.
• The cost of mental health problems to the economy in England is estimated to be £105 billion a year.
• Obesity costs the NHS £6 billion a year and diabetes £10 billion.
There is a large and increasing body of evidence to suggest that contact with a wide range of natural environments can provide multiple benefits for human health and wellbeing. These benefits include enhanced physical health (via increases in physical activity) and improvements in social and psychological wellbeing via a reduction in stress and anxiety, increased positive mood, self-esteem and resilience and improvements in social functioning and inclusion
In addition, environments rich in wildlife are also associated with improved wellbeing. A systematic review performed by Lovell et al (2014) found that biodiverse natural environments may be associated with good health and wellbeing, including better mental health outcomes and an increase in healthy behaviours.
We want to help people to get or stay healthy and happy, to save the country money and to build strong communities that look after each other and the natural environment around them.