Prof. Christopher Gidlow


Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Research

Staffordshire University, UK 


Venue: E1-022 (Main Building)

Friday 31st March at 3pm


All are welcome


Natural environments and health: findings from the PHENOTYPE project

Human nature interactions have since Victorian times been posited to benefit well-being. However, only in the past decade has scientific evidence emerged to support a plethora of anecdotal and philosophical accounts. In 2003, the Essex research group coined the phrase ‘green exercise’ to denote physical activity in natural settings (Barton et al., 2003). The possibility that exposure to nature could provide a low-cost non-invasive well-being intervention provoked interest in the topic. Under FP7, the EU funded a €3.5m multi-study investigation of links between the natural environment and health (;  2012-2017). The timing of this project both paralleled a shift towards transdisciplinary research perspectives and inspired further dissemination activity. Over 25 publications have emerged from the findings of PHENOTYPE which had partners in the UK, US, Switzerland, Spain, Latvia and the Netherlands. In recent years leading journals including Science (Hartig & Kahn, 2016) and Nature (Kardan et al., 2015), and high profile magazines, for example, National Geographic (Williams, 2016,) and Scientific American (Rodriguez, 2016) have all featured articles on this human-nature interactions. Most recently, H2020 calls have focused on nature-based solutions in cities as part of cross-cutting research on the environment and health. Tellingly, H2020 funded a proposal which focused on blue spaces in nature –a €6m study called The presentation focuses mainly on the findings from Phenotype with one eye on the future horizon and the impact of nature-based solutions for well-being. 

Event convened by:

Department of Psychology, University of Limerick