Researching the health benefits of nature

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Professor and former SPH Dean Howard Frumkin (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences) has joined forces with Professor Joshua Lawler from the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences to lead the Nature Contact & Human Health Working Group. The group is a growing community of doctors, scientists, educators, landscape architects, recreation advocates and others interested in exploring how experiences in nature benefit human health and wellbeing.


With the goal of stimulating awareness of the health benefits of nature, and implementing findings that benefit both people and the environment, the group is building a community of practice across disciplines and sectors, scoping a research agenda, developing a policy and action blueprint, and defining and incubating fundable initiatives and research projects.

To that end, REI has recently committed more than $150,000 to support Frumkin’s work to research the benefits of nature hikes to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“REI is proud to support this important work by Dr. Frumkin,” said Marc Berejka, director of government & community affairs for REI. “Our organization was built on the belief that all people can benefit from experiences in the natural world and we look forward to learning more through this innovative research.”