Occupation in Natural Environments; Health Equity and Environmental Justice : L’occupation dans les environnements naturels ; équité en matière de santé et justice environnementale

Can J Occup Ther. 2021 Sep 6:84174211040000. doi: 10.1177/00084174211040000. Online ahead of print.


Background. Occupations undertaken in natural environments can positively impact physical and mental health, improve cognitive functioning, contribute spiritual and cultural benefits, and increase belonging, self-worth, and the meaningfulness of occupations. However, occupational opportunities in healthy natural spaces are inequitably distributed; and the deleterious effects of climate change and environmental degradation are borne disproportionately by socioeconomically disadvantaged people. Purposes. To highlight evidence that occupational engagement in nature is a determinant of health, foreground environmental injustices and identify some implications for occupational therapy. Key issues. Cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural research and critical environmental justice scholarship indicate that healthy nature is an inequitably distributed determinant of occupation, wellbeing, and human health. This merits critical attention from occupational therapy. Implications. By researching, identifying, and addressing occupational and health inequities arising from environmental degradation, climate change and inequitable access to health-promoting natural environments occupational therapists could contribute valuable, occupational perspectives to initiatives addressing human rights and environmental justice.

PMID:34486421 | DOI:10.1177/00084174211040000

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