Browsing by Subject "Nature"

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  • Halonen, Jaana I.; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Haahtela, Tari; Jousilahti, Pekka; Barouki, Robert; Bergman, Åke; Billo, Nils E.; Fuller, Richard; Haines, Andrew; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Krauze, Kinga; Lanki, Timo; Vicente, Joana Lobo; Messerli, Peter; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark; Paloniemi, Riikka; Peters, Annette; Posch, Karl-Heinz; Timonen, Pekka; Vermeulen, Roel; Virtanen, Suvi M.; Bousquet, Jean; Antó, Josep M. (2021)
    In 2015, the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission launched a report introducing a novel approach called Planetary Health and proposed a concept, a strategy and a course of action. To discuss the concept of Planetary Health in the context of Europe, a conference entitled: “Europe That Protects: Safeguarding Our Planet, Safeguarding Our Health” was held in Helsinki in December 2019. The conference participants concluded with a need for action to support Planetary Health during the 2020s. The Helsinki Declaration emphasizes the urgency to act as scientific evidence shows that human activities are causing climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, overuse of natural resources and pollution. They threaten the health and safety of human kind. Global, regional, national, local and individual initiatives are called for and multidisciplinary and multisectorial actions and measures are needed. A framework for an action plan is suggested that can be modified for local needs. Accordingly, a shift from fragmented approaches to policy and practice towards systematic actions will promote human health and health of the planet. Systems thinking will feed into conserving nature and biodiversity, and into halting climate change. The Planetary Health paradigm ‒ the health of human civilization and the state of natural systems on which it depends ‒ must become the driver for all policies.
  • Haahtela, Tari; von Hertzen, Leena; Anto, Josep M.; Bai, Chunxue; Baigenzhin, Abay; Bateman, Eric D.; Behera, Digambar; Bennoor, Kazi; Camargos, Paulo; Chavannes, Niels; de Sousa, Jaime Correia; Cruz, Alvaro; Teixeira, Maria Do Ceu; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Gemicioglu, Bilun; Diaz, Sandra Gonzalez; Hellings, Peter W.; Jousilahti, Pekka; Khaltaev, Nikolai; Kolek, Vitezslav; Kuna, Piotr; La Grutta, Stefania; Le Thi Tuyet Lan; Maglakelidze, Tamaz; Masjedi, Mohamed R.; Mihaltan, Florin; Mohammad, Yousser; Nunes, Elizabete; Nyberg, Arvid; Quel, Jorge; Rosado-Pinto, Jose; Sagara, Hironori; Samolinski, Boleslaw; Schraufnagel, Dean; Sooronbaev, Talant; Eldin, Mohamed Tag; To, Teresa; Valiulis, Arunas; Varghese, Cherian; Vasankari, Tuula; Viegi, Giovanni; Winders, Tonya; Yanez, Anahi; Yorgancioglu, Arzu; Yusuf, Osman; Bousquet, Jean; Billo, Nils E. (2019)
    Background: The Nature Step to Respiratory Health was the overarching theme of the 12th General Meeting of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) in Helsinki, August 2018. New approaches are needed to improve respiratory health and reduce premature mortality of chronic diseases by 30% till 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). Planetary health is defined as the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Planetary health and human health are interconnected, and both need to be considered by individuals and governments while addressing several SDGs. Results: The concept of the Nature Step has evolved from innovative research indicating, how changed lifestyle in urban surroundings reduces contact with biodiverse environments, impoverishes microbiota, affects immune regulation and increases risk of NCDs. The Nature Step calls for strengthening connections to nature. Physical activity in natural environments should be promoted, use of fresh vegetables, fruits and water increased, and consumption of sugary drinks, tobacco and alcohol restricted. Nature relatedness should be part of everyday life and especially emphasized in the care of children and the elderly. Taking "nature" to modern cities in a controlled way is possible but a challenge for urban planning, nature conservation, housing, traffic arrangements, energy production, and importantly for supplying and distributing food. Actions against the well-known respiratory risk factors, air pollution and smoking, should be taken simultaneously. Conclusions: In Finland and elsewhere in Europe, successful programmes have been implemented to reduce the burden of respiratory disorders and other NCDs. Unhealthy behaviour can be changed by well-coordinated actions involving all stakeholders. The growing public health concern caused by NCDs in urban surroundings cannot be solved by health care alone; a multidisciplinary approach is mandatory.
  • Haahtela, Tari; von Hertzen, Leena; Anto, Josep M; Bai, Chunxue; Baigenzhin, Abay; Bateman, Eric D; Behera, Digambar; Bennoor, Kazi; Camargos, Paulo; Chavannes, Niels; de Sousa, Jaime C; Cruz, Alvaro; Do Céu Teixeira, Maria; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Gemicioğlu, Bilun; Gonzalez Diaz, Sandra; Hellings, Peter W; Jousilahti, Pekka; Khaltaev, Nikolai; Kolek, Vitezslav; Kuna, Piotr; La Grutta, Stefania; Lan, Le T T; Maglakelidze, Tamaz; Masjedi, Mohamed R; Mihaltan, Florin; Mohammad, Yousser; Nunes, Elizabete; Nyberg, Arvid; Quel, Jorge; Rosado-Pinto, Jose; Sagara, Hironori; Samolinski, Boleslaw; Schraufnagel, Dean; Sooronbaev, Talant; Tag Eldin, Mohamed; To, Teresa; Valiulis, Arunas; Varghese, Cherian; Vasankari, Tuula; Viegi, Giovanni; Winders, Tonya; Yañez, Anahi; Yorgancioğlu, Arzu; Yusuf, Osman; Bousquet, Jean; Billo, Nils E (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background The Nature Step to Respiratory Health was the overarching theme of the 12th General Meeting of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) in Helsinki, August 2018. New approaches are needed to improve respiratory health and reduce premature mortality of chronic diseases by 30% till 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). Planetary health is defined as the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Planetary health and human health are interconnected, and both need to be considered by individuals and governments while addressing several SDGs. Results The concept of the Nature Step has evolved from innovative research indicating, how changed lifestyle in urban surroundings reduces contact with biodiverse environments, impoverishes microbiota, affects immune regulation and increases risk of NCDs. The Nature Step calls for strengthening connections to nature. Physical activity in natural environments should be promoted, use of fresh vegetables, fruits and water increased, and consumption of sugary drinks, tobacco and alcohol restricted. Nature relatedness should be part of everyday life and especially emphasized in the care of children and the elderly. Taking “nature” to modern cities in a controlled way is possible but a challenge for urban planning, nature conservation, housing, traffic arrangements, energy production, and importantly for supplying and distributing food. Actions against the well-known respiratory risk factors, air pollution and smoking, should be taken simultaneously. Conclusions In Finland and elsewhere in Europe, successful programmes have been implemented to reduce the burden of respiratory disorders and other NCDs. Unhealthy behaviour can be changed by well-coordinated actions involving all stakeholders. The growing public health concern caused by NCDs in urban surroundings cannot be solved by health care alone; a multidisciplinary approach is mandatory.
  • Korhonen, Arto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study is aimed at discovering if Virtual reality (VR) has restorative effects on people and how it compares to real environment as a restorative environment. Theory frame used in this research is Attention restoration theory which is widely used in previous restorativeness studies. As the world is urbanizing rapidly, people spend less time in the nature than ever before. Previous researches have shown that nature has a restorative effect on people and it recovers aimed attention. This research tries to find a solution by using the VR environment as a substitute for real environments as a restorative place. Our hypothesis was; VR does have restorative effect and VR forest is perceived as restorative as physical forest. This VR experience study was executed as a quantitative study that was executed randomly picking students and staff of nearby corporations of university campus. Test subjects were exposed to the VR environment for a five-minute period. Information was gathered via questionnaires that were answered both before and after the VR experience. Both questionnaires measured the mood, vitality and restoration at the moment when answered. The data consisted of N=100. Addition to our own data, we had the data from similar research by Hauru et al (2012). With that it was possible to compare the VR environment to real environments. The results showed that the perceived restorativeness of VR was similar as the real forest environment, but the restorativeness was felt even stronger in the VR environment. People felt significantly better after the experience. From the research point-of-view VR could be used as a restoration in urban areas and for example during workdays/school days. It clearly showed its potential for future use. There is still a little concern about the results, as the participants visited the VR environment only once, the long-term effects are yet unknown. Due to that there is still need for future research regarding the long-term use of VR as a restorative environment.