FORMAS has awarded more than SEK 6 500 000 during 3 years to a project led by Cecilia Stenfors: “Estimating the Role of Exposure and Access to Natural Environments for Wellbeing, Mental & Cognitive Health Outcomes in a Swedish Population-Based Cohort”.
Emotional disorders, chronic stress and cognitive dysfunction are major public health concerns associated with vast individual and societal costs. Understanding and targeting modifiable risk factors for these conditions is thus vital. Prior studies have found exposure and access to natural environments beneficial to mood, cognitive performance, stress reduction, and mental health. However, more knowledge is needed regarding the extent to which exposure and access to different natural environments (incl. different “green spaces”/vegetation and “blue spaces”/open waters) around individuals’ homes and workplaces play a role in mental and cognitive health at the population level.
The purpose of the project is thus to investigate the role of access and exposure to different green and blue spaces for different aspects of mental and cognitive health, cross-sectionally and longitudinally, in a population-based and nationally representative cohort. There project will also entail collaboration with agents in society on the development and implementation of healthy environments.
The results will contribute with important empirical bases for public health and urban planning policies.