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Healthy people in healthy environments – moving beyond medicine

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All are welcome to join this #LivefromLucy/Connections talk with Dr Matilda van den Bosch.

About this event

Despite significant medical advances over the last century, we see an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, such as depression, diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases, across the globe. Many of these conditions are difficult to treat and can lead to chronic incapacity and disablement. The increase in these issues is due to interconnected risk factors related to contemporary lifestyles and our living environments. Our world is increasingly urbanised and despite numerous benefits related to city living, it is also associated with harmful environmental exposures, stress, sedentary lifestyles, and poor access to natural environments.

How can we improve this situation? We can start with recognising the inherent link between healthy environments and healthy people. Through a better understanding of how reconnecting with nature can promote health and prevent many chronic diseases, we can achieve change with long-lasting impact on health across the life course and for future generations. This session will provide an overview of the increasing body of evidence around the numerous health benefits that can be obtained by interacting with nature in and outside cities. It will provide an argument for incorporating the concept of healthy environments in medical education and in health care practice. It will also outline the critical need for cross-sectoral collaborations between researchers, health professionals, urban planners, and the public to achieve change and put research and evidence into practice.

About the speaker

Matilda van den Bosch is a Senior Researcher at the Barcelona Institute of Global Health, Spain and an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia. Her research lies in the interface of human health and the health of our natural surroundings with the goal of contributing to urban policies that promote healthy environments for both humans and ecosystems. Most of her research has focused on the human health benefits of contact and exposure to urban natural environments. She is the primary editor of the Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health (2018) and is leading several international research projects related to childhood health, urban green space exposure, and climate change mitigation. Her work has also contributed to policy making and she has acted as an advisor to numerous interactional organisations, including the World Health Organisation, the UN Environmental Programme, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Please register to receive Zoom joining instructions for this event. This event is free and open to all.

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Organiser Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge

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